Updated - Oct 14th, 2022
Wait a minute, you’re probably thinking, dental illness coverage for pets? Yep, you read that right! Just like human dental treatment, treatment for your pet’s dental illnesses or injuries often comes at a high price.
Because pet dental illnesses are so costly – and common – finding pet insurance that covers dental illnesses will save you a considerable amount of trouble later on. But not all pet insurance plans are created equal. Among those that offer dental illness coverage, there’s significant variation in benefits, exclusions, and qualifying conditions.
To help you navigate the complicated world of pet dental illness coverage, we’ve created this handy guide to the conditions and services that some pet insurance plans cover, the ones they don’t, and the requirements and limitations you need to know about. Let’s get started.
Does pet insurance cover dental illnesses?
Did you know that dental disease (AKA periodontal or gum disease) is one of the most common illnesses seen in dogs and cats? An estimated 70% of cats and 80% of dogs develop dental disease by age three, but it often goes undetected by pet owners. Left untreated, dental disease can cause chronic pain, eroded gums, and deciduous teeth. It can even lead to dangerous infections that spread to major organs, like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. When the disease is discovered, treatment can be costly and time-consuming, especially if it’s diagnosed in the later stages.
Tip: A regular tooth brushing schedule can help prevent periodontal disease. If you can’t brush your dog’s teeth daily, try to clean those chompers at lease once a week!
Despite dental disease being incredibly common, some pet insurance plans exclude dental illness coverage from their plans entirely or make it optional for an added monthly fee. Consequently, unwitting pet owners are often forced to shoulder a significant cost. Serious cases of gum disease or periodontal disease can wreak havoc on both a pet’s mouth and body, eventually leading to an increased risk of heart, kidney, and liver disease. Between 2017 and 2020, the average claim cost for dogs with periodontal disease was $1,942. (Think of all the treats you could buy with that!)
With such a high price tag, treatment for dental illnesses should definitely be part of your pet’s coverage. Pumpkin plans automatically include dental illness coverage, so you can help your fur kid get the care they need with less worrying about the high cost.
Does pet insurance cover dental cleanings?
Some pet accident & illness insurance plans don’t cover general oral hygiene. Some insurance plans that offer dental illness coverage, including Pumpkin plans, don’t cover annual dental exams or cleanings unless they’re used to treat an illness, like gum disease.
Does pet insurance cover tooth extractions?
Most pet insurances that offer dental illness coverage, including Pumpkin plans, will cover tooth extractions for an accident or illness. Periodontal disease is the most common illness that leads to tooth extractions, but a fractured tooth, tooth decay, or an unerupted tooth – when a tooth is stuck below the gum line – are other common conditions that call for this surgery.
Without insurance, a tooth extraction can be costly. The procedure requires cleaning, x-rays, anesthesia, bloodwork, IV fluids, and post-surgical hospitalization, all of which adds up to about $500 to $900 per tooth, making coverage critical for pet owners.
What other dental conditions and services does pet insurance cover?
As explained earlier, some pet insurance plans cover dental treatments for illnesses and accidents. That may include a wide range of conditions your pet might experience, including:
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth abscesses
- Oral growths and tumors
- Fractured jaw or tooth
It may also cover a range of veterinary services and treatments for covered conditions, like:
- Tooth extractions
- Prescription medicine
Pumpkin Pet Insurance plans cover treatments for dental illnesses and tooth extractions only for dental accidents.
What dental services doesn’t pet insurance cover?
Here’s a list of elective or cosmetic dental services that pet insurance plans usually don’t cover:
- Crown amputations
- Scaling and/or planing
In addition to these services and procedures, pet insurance plans likely won’t cover medications, tools, or treats related to routine oral hygiene, like pet toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental chews, or dental supplements.
Are there any requirements, conditions, or limits of dental illness coverage I should know about?
Yes, there are a few. Before covering your pet’s dental treatments for illnesses, some pet insurances require you to bring your pet in for an annual dental exam and cleaning – and pay for it out of pocket. Additionally, they might only reimburse you up to a certain amount (like $1,000) per year or condition.
Luckily, Pumpkin insurance plans don’t require you to bring your pet in for an annual teeth cleaning. We know life gets busy and things happen! Pumpkin plans also don’t have a separate annual limit just for dental illnesses, so you won’t encounter extra surprises when it’s time to take your pet to the vet. If your pet needs expensive surgery for gum disease, Pumpkin plans will reimburse you for covered expenses up to your plan’s annual limit.
The bottom line
Dental insurance can save you thousands of dollars over your pet’s lifetime. But it’s important to keep in mind that not all insurance plans are created equal – and neither is all dental illness coverage. Do your homework and find out if the pet insurance you’re considering offers this coverage – and don’t forget to read the fine print! Next, take your research a step further and see what specific benefits the plan offers, as well as exclusions, requirements, and limits you might have to take into consideration.
Your pet deserves the very best dental care, and pet insurance can help make that possible. Find out more ways Pumpkin plans can help keep your four-legged friends healthy and happy!