National Pet Dental Health Month is coming to an end, and with our articles over the last three weeks we hope we’ve given you enough information to keep your pet’s mouth in top condition. However, even with frequent cleaning pet’s can still develop dental problems and one of the questions we are frequently asked at Pet-Insurance.org is whether Pet Insurance covers dental care. This isn’t a simple question to answer, but we’ve broken it down into five key things you should know:
1. Dental problems caused by accidents or injuries are generally covered by Pet Health Insurance. For example, if your dog is hit by a car and needs a broken tooth extracted, then most insurance companies will provide financial help for the treatment. The key word here is MOST, check your policy for specific wording that may exclude all dental care from coverage.
2. Routine Dental Care is never covered under basic Pet Insurance Plans. Veterinarians recommend that your pet receives regular dental checkups, which may include a full dental cleaning where your pet is put under a general anesthetic. This procedure can be expensive but is vital in preventing painful dental issues and possible heart, liver, and kidney damage. Preventative care is better for both your pocket and your dog’s long-term health.
3. Some policies cover treatment for Dental Disease. However, they require your pet to receive yearly dental checkups. If this doesn’t happen then dental coverage is voided. Make sure you read the small print of your insurance policy to see what minimum care rules your insurer requires you to follow.
4. Wellness Plans are available from Some Pet Insurance Companies. These plans are generally only available as an add-on to Insurance coverage. They range in price from $18 to $47 per month. These Wellness Plans provide additional coverage for routine care, which includes dental. If you consider one of these riders, check how much they will contribute towards dental, some place limits on types of care, others allow you to choose how you spend the allotted coverage.
5. Dental Disease isn’t usually covered by insurers for two main reasons. Firstly it’s considered a preventable problem, insurers place the duty of care on the owner because regular routine care makes a huge difference. Secondly, Dental Disease is extremely common. It’s estimated that up to 85% of pets over four years of age will develop a dental problem. If insurers were to provide coverage for dental care, the cost of policies would have to be much higher. Limiting coverage allows the cost of insurance to be kept low and allows more coverage for non-preventable problems.