Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental?
When we think of dental care, we typically think about dentists and humans. However, dental care is an important part of keeping your dog or pet as healthy as possible. Although we all claim to love the smell of “puppy breath”, it’s not always that pleasant when they’re older. In some cases, bad dog breath can be a sign of an illness or an injury. Many pet owners choose to purchase pet insurance. One of the biggest questions pet owners ask is “Does pet insurance cover dental care?”
What is Dental Care for a Pet?
Dental care for a pet involves anything having to do with your pet’s mouth, teeth, and gums. Dental issues can be a sign of another health issue, or it can cause a medical problem. Dogs often chew on things they shouldn’t, and these items can cause the teeth to break, which can be painful for the dog.
Because your pet can’t talk, he or she can’t tell you that something is wrong and where it’s painful. Regular dental care can detect dental issues. It can also help your vet detect other health issues that may be caused by dental problems.
Good dental care usually involves having a vet check your pet’s gums and teeth at least once a year. Dental care for your pet is more than just annual checkups by a board-certified veterinary dentist or veterinarian. Dental care also involves these procedures.
- Filing the dog’s teeth
- Cleaning the teeth
- Making adjustments to the teeth
- Repairing the teeth
- Extracting the teeth when necessary
Most of these procedures can only be performed when the dog is under anesthesia. The reason for this is that even the gentlest dog may bite or become aggressive because they don’t know what’s going on, they’re frightened and probably in pain. Many things can cause dog dental issues, such as:
- Fractured or broken jaw
- Periodontal disease
- Palate defects
- Broken teeth or roots
- Tumors or cysts in the mouth
- Infected teeth or abscesses
- Misalignment of the teeth and/or bite
Average Cost of Various Pet Dental Care Plans
The average cost of pet dental care plans can vary from one insurance company to the next. The reason for this is because most dental care plans are part of a pet insurance plan, and these vary by the pet insurance company. In addition, the amount that they will and won’t pay towards dental care also varies. Below are some sample costs for pet insurance plans that do cover dental care.
Healthy Paws doesn’t offer much in the way of dental care unless it’s caused by an accident. For pet insurance on a four-year-old mixed breed large female dog, the monthly premium is $57.52. This policy has a $250 deductible, 80 percent reimbursement rate, and an unlimited maximum payout amount.
Embrace offers more in the way of dental care than Healthy Paws, and their monthly premium for the same dog is $47.76 with a $300 deductible, an 80 percent reimbursement rate, and a maximum annual payout of $8,000.
Pets Best offers their policy for $47.54, and this is for a policy that includes a wellness package. This policy has a $200 deductible, 90 percent reimbursement rate, and an unlimited annual payout amount.
Figo offers a policy for $26.64, and this includes a $250 deductible, 80 percent reimbursement rate, and a $10K maximum annual payout.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Care? Four Plans That Cover Dental
Healthy Paws will not cover routine dental care but will pay for part of the bill if the issue was caused by an accidental injury. In this situation, they will cover the cost to extract or reconstruct the teeth. They will not pay for routine things like polishing, cleaning, scaling, brushing, extractions and reconstructions.
Embrace offers a wellness plan that covers several aspects of dental care, including trauma to the jaw, face, or teeth; tooth extractions; and non-routine dental treatment. They cover accidents that cause dental trauma once the dog has met the waiting period for accidents. Embrace will also reimburse pet owners for covered veterinary treatment costs resulting from dental illness once the deductible is met but will only pay a maximum of $1,000 annually.
They also pay for root canals and crowns that are medically necessary. Embrace offers three different wellness plans. One pays a total of $250 in total benefits; one pays $450 and one pays $650. These all cover:
- Dental chews
- Routine dental cleaning
- Dietary dental supplements
- Pet toothpaste and toothbrushes
- Teeth brushing by a professional
- Annual dental checkups
Pets Best offers a very comprehensive dental care coverage plan that even includes a preventative plan to help pay for dental cleaning costs. It covers the same basic things as Embrace, like tooth extractions, periodontal disease, trauma to the face, teeth, and jaw, and non-routine dental treatment.
For the company to pay for the periodontal treatment, the pet must have had its teeth examined and cleaned within the last 13 months. The dog must be with the company for at least six months to be covered for extractions due to dentigerous cysts, deciduous teeth, unerupted teeth, and enamel hypoplasia.
Although Figo offers two wellness plans, neither of them covers dental care treatments. However, they do cover non-routine dental treatments. They will cover the cost of injuries to teeth is caused by an accident and the teeth need to be reconstructed or extracted. If you do purchase a wellness plan, it typically will pay the cost of teeth cleanings. They will not pay for advanced periodontal disease or gingivitis if caused by tartar accumulation. It doesn’t cover routine cleaning.
When you are looking at insurance policies, you should investigate the type of dental they cover. You might see a plan that says they offer dental, but they really mean injury or accident, when you are looking for preventive care. Be sure to read the details of the policy, so you know what you are able to get covered by your insurance policy.