Demystifying Pet Dental Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide
7 mins read

Demystifying Pet Dental Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide


Just like humans, dental health is a vital aspect of our pets’ overall well-being. Beyond being a means of consumption, animals employ their teeth for play and exploration, which can make them susceptible to dental accidents. However, the costs associated with pet dental care, particularly in cases of accidents or illnesses, can become a considerable financial burden. This article delves into the world of pet dental insurance, elucidating what it covers, what it doesn’t, and whether it’s a worthwhile investment for your furry friend.

Key Points at a Glance

  1. Coverage under Accident and Illness Plans: Generally, pet insurance accident and illness plans encompass dental accidents and illnesses, offering financial relief in case of unforeseen dental issues.
  2. Routine Dental Care and Wellness Plans: Pet insurance policies typically do not cover routine dental care. A wellness plan must be added to cover services like teeth cleaning, vaccinations, wellness exams, and flea and tick medications.
  3. Exclusions: Aesthetic, cosmetic, endodontic, and orthodontic dental services are typically not covered by pet insurance or wellness plans.
  4. Alternative Payment Methods: Beyond insurance, pet owners can consider creating a dedicated savings fund or exploring financing options such as CareCredit to manage dental care costs.

The Importance of Pet Dental Insurance

Dental care holds undeniable significance for pets. Just as we seek to safeguard our own teeth, ensuring optimal oral health for our four-legged companions is a responsible aspect of pet ownership. However, unforeseen dental accidents or illnesses can incur substantial expenses, including costs for sedation, X-rays, antibiotics, medications, and other associated treatments. One approach to alleviating these financial burdens is through pet insurance policies.

While standalone pet dental insurance isn’t available, reputable pet insurance providers incorporate dental coverage within their accident and illness plans. This coverage can prove invaluable in mitigating expenses arising from oral health emergencies or diseases that pets might encounter.

Coverage under Pet Dental Insurance Policies

Pet insurance plans typically offer coverage for dental accidents and illnesses, varying depending on the chosen policy. Accident-only plans primarily cover dental accidents, while comprehensive plans extend coverage to both accidents and illnesses of a dental nature.

A comprehensive pet insurance policy with dental coverage usually encompasses various dental procedures, including:

  • Crowns
  • Damaged teeth
  • Tooth extractions (deciduous and permanent)
  • Dental malocclusion
  • Dentigerous cysts
  • Dentistry anesthesia
  • Gingivitis
  • Gum disease
  • Root canals
  • Stomatitis

The scope of dental procedures covered can vary between insurance companies and plans. Therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly review your chosen policy’s details and consult with the insurer for any clarifications.

Exclusions and Limitations

Pet dental insurance, like any insurance, has its exclusions and limitations. Pre-existing conditions, whether dental or otherwise, that existed before the policy’s effective date or coverage waiting period, are generally not covered. Additionally, certain aesthetic, cosmetic, endodontic, or orthodontic dental services such as fillings, implants, and orthodontic procedures are often excluded from coverage.

Routine dental care, such as teeth cleaning, is a common misconception among pet owners. Standard pet insurance policies usually do not cover these costs unless a wellness plan is added to the policy. Wellness plans cater to preventive care, including teeth cleanings, vaccinations, wellness exams, and flea and tick medications. Thus, to ensure comprehensive dental coverage, it’s crucial to choose a policy that aligns with your pet’s needs.

Choosing the Right Pet Insurance for Dental Coverage

A range of pet insurance companies includes dental coverage as part of their offerings. The extent of coverage and reimbursement amounts can differ from one company and plan to another. If you’re considering a pet insurance plan that encompasses dental accidents and illnesses, some reputable companies to explore include:

  • Embrace
  • Fetch
  • Figo
  • Healthy Paws
  • MetLife
  • Nationwide
  • Pets Best
  • Pumpkin
  • Spot Pet Insurance
  • Trupanion

Is Pet Dental Insurance Worth It?

Opting for pet insurance with dental coverage can be a prudent financial decision. Periodontal disease, a prevalent issue in both cats and dogs, is among the most common diseases. The potential costs of treating periodontal disease, as well as dental accidents or injuries, can be substantial.

Statistics show that by age 2, approximately 70% of cats and 80% of dogs exhibit some degree of periodontal disease. Claims data from C&F Insurance Agency indicates that the average pet insurance claim for periodontal disease in dogs is approximately $1,942.

Considering these numbers, the investment in dental coverage within a pet insurance policy could significantly offset potential expenses related to dental issues over your pet’s lifetime.

Common Dental Illnesses and Injuries in Pets

Dogs and cats can experience a range of dental issues, with periodontal disease, gum disease, tooth fractures, stomatitis, and tooth resorption being common culprits. Dental illnesses can lead to not only discomfort but also broader health and behavior challenges if left untreated.

Certain breeds might be more predisposed to dental issues, highlighting the importance of regular dental care and check-ups.

Cost of Dental Care

The expenses associated with dental care can vary based on factors such as the severity of the issue and the location of the veterinary clinic. The estimated cost of a dog’s teeth cleaning typically ranges between $500 and $1,000, while for cats, it may vary from $100 to $400. These estimates do not encompass additional costs like X-rays, anesthesia, medications, and extractions. As such, dental cleanings can accumulate into bills ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

Affordable Dental Care Alternatives

While pet insurance remains an excellent avenue for affordable dental care, several alternatives and preventive measures can help manage dental health costs:

  1. Preventative Dental Care: Daily brushing, using enzymatic toothpaste, can help prevent dental disease. Dental chews and additives with proven plaque-fighting enzymes can also aid in oral health maintenance.
  2. Regular Professional Cleanings: Yearly professional dental cleanings can remove bacterial build-up and tartar below the gum line, promoting dental health and identifying issues early.
  3. Financing Options: Apart from pet insurance, financing options like CareCredit and VetBilling can help manage the cost of dental care.
  4. Savings Account: Creating a savings account dedicated to your pet’s care can provide a safety net for deductibles and coinsurance percentages.


Pet dental insurance, while not available as a standalone policy, can be a valuable inclusion within comprehensive pet insurance plans. Dental health is integral to the well-being of our beloved pets, and unforeseen dental accidents and illnesses can result in significant financial expenses. By understanding what pet dental insurance covers, what it doesn’t, and exploring alternative options, pet owners can make informed decisions that prioritize their pets’ oral health. Remember that preventive measures, regular dental check-ups, and financial planning can collectively contribute to maintaining your furry friend’s bright smile and overall vitality.

Related Posts