Pet Dental Insurance

Health insurance is becoming more and more common for pets, however most health plans do not include pet dental insurance and it likely needs to be purchased on its own.

How Pet Dental Insurance Works

Pet dental insurance, like pet health insurance, typically works in one of two ways.

The company pays upfront for any covered procedures, medications or emergencies, after the owner has paid their deductible and co-pay for the visit.

Or, the owner pays upfront for everything, fills out a claim form given to them by the insurance company, and requests reimbursement.

Either way, owners likely have a yearly deductible and possibly a co-pay much in the way human insurance works.

What Dental Insurance Covers

This will vary greatly from insurance company to insurance company. Your vet may have some recommendations of what companies to use, and possibly have some sort of agreement or contract with a specific company to get your costs even cheaper and a wider range of coverage.

On average, dental insurance covers the cost of:

  • Certain procedures
  • Medications, but not vitamins or supplements
  • Dental illnesses, such as abscesses, gingivitis, and periodontal disease, cavities, or extractions and cleanings involved with illness

Usually routine cleanings are not covered unless extra coverage is purchased

Dental Needs of Your Dog

While considering if you should purchase dental insurance, researching your breed of dog couldn't hurt. Some dogs have a predisposition to teeth and/or gum problems. If you have one of these breeds, paying the extra upfront for a dental plan might be beneficial for you in the long-run.

Always note that with any type of dog, dental care is of the utmost importance. Failure to have routine cleanings and check-ups can result in a number of problems and complications that extend far beyond the mouth. Something as simple as a bacteria infection can start up abscesses, and the bacteria can start to affect kidney function.

You can help yourself in this category by purchasing supplements promoting good gum and teeth health, as well as brushing your dog's teeth on a regular basis with canine-approved toothpaste. Note never to use human toothpaste on a dog as it contains chemicals that are toxic to dogs.

How to Choose a Dental Insurance Provider

If you already have a health insurance provider that you enjoy, check with them on their dental insurance costs. Don't stop just there, however; do your research and call around to a few different companies and see what they provide. Compare the cost of deductibles, co-pays, and how much they cover. One company may cover 80% of a dental procedure and charge a low deductible, and another may cover 90% but have a sky-high deductible. You'll have to decide which type of plan suits you and your dog the best.

Also, if you know that you would not have the up-front funds in the case of an emergency, try to go for an insurance company that does not wait and reimburse you later. Look for one who will pay the costs immediately after you've paid your deductible.