Maintaining your pet’s pearly white teeth is essential to their overall health. Improper dental care can cause problems like periodontal (gum) disease or lead to serious health problems and excruciating pain, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The average cost of pet insurance claims for periodontal disease in dogs was $1,942 between 2017 and 2020, according to claims from insurance agency C&F, says Beth Wymer, spokeswoman for Pumpkin Pet Insurance. “When she looks at the toll dental disease can take on her pet’s health and on her wallet, it’s a substantial financial burden,” she says.
Pet insurance policies often cover costs resulting from a pet’s dental problems, but not all do. be sure to consider dental benefits when comparing plans.
Reading: Which pet insurance covers dental
what does pet dental insurance cover?
Dental coverage can be found in pet health insurance plans. Although coverage varies by insurer, there are typically two groups of dental coverage for pets: dental accidents and dental disease. Companies like Pet Insurance and Pets Better cover dental accidents and illnesses and provide reimbursement for dental problems such as:
- damaged teeth
- root canals
- gum disease
- tooth extraction
- healthy legs
- complete pet throughout the country with welfare
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- trusted friends
- cosmetic, endodontic or orthodontic services, such as caps, implants and filings
- routine dental care, such as teeth cleaning
- pre-existing pet conditions that occurred before coverage began
but some pet insurance plans only cover dental accidents or problems resulting from an accident. for example, lemonade pet insurance covers dental accidents but not dental disease
Check the policy to see if there are any requirements for making a pet dental insurance claim. for example, pets are best covered for dental disease only if the pet is under 3 years old or has had a dental exam within the last 13 months under general anesthesia that showed no dental problems.
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Here are examples of pet insurance companies that cover both dental accidents and dental disease:
what does pet dental coverage not cover?
These are some common exclusions:
how to find affordable pet dental care
pet insurance can help you avoid debt if your furry companion needs medical attention.
“The cost of veterinary care is rising at a rapid rate, as is the gap between what pet owners can afford and what the best veterinary care costs. pet insurance helps close the affordability gap and can also give pets a longer, healthier life,” says wymer.
In addition to a pet insurance plan with good dental coverage, here are some ways to keep a pet’s dental care costs down.
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Practice preventative care. Many pets show early signs of periodontal disease once they are 3 years old, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. As they age, it is essential to take preventive measures so that dental conditions do not worsen or end up affecting their kidney or liver functions.
“Although many dental specialists recommend an annual dental cleaning, check with your veterinarian and see if they will perform a dental evaluation instead. This way, you and your veterinarian can review best practices for caring for your pet’s dental health, such as brushing or chewing, and assess whether a cleaning or x-ray is warranted due to the condition of your pet’s teeth.” says Dr. shawna garner, united states lead veterinarian at firstvet.
Consider a pet insurance wellness plan. Although no pet health insurance policy includes coverage for routine dental care, you can often add a wellness plan that will. Adding a wellness plan to your policy will increase the cost of your pet’s insurance, but it can offset the expense of dental cleanings (averaging from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000, depending on your location).
consider carecredit. If your pet has an expensive dental emergency that you can’t afford, you can use a financing option like CareCredit, with caution. With carecredit, pet owners can apply for short financing periods ranging from six months to two years with no interest on vet bills over $200.
You must use a provider that is enrolled in the carecredit network. and if you do not pay the balance by the end of the promotional period, you will be charged 26.99% interest. so be prepared to pay off the balance before interest is charged.
reserve savings. Each pet insurance plan has a deductible and coinsurance percentage that you must pay. therefore, setting aside money when possible can make your vet bills more manageable.
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