Sadly, there aren’t many pet insurance companies which cover dental cleaning. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For the best info on how to find the pet insurance policy that will keep your precious fur baby’s chompers clean and healthy for life, keep reading. We have the resources you need to find pet insurance that covers dental cleaning.
Types of Pet Insurance that Cover Dental Cleaning
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is as true for animals as it is for humans. But the unfortunate truth about most pet insurance is that these policies only cover illnesses and/or accidents. This means that most pet owners will have to wait for their animals’ periodontal problems to become a major concern before they get financial help. But once it becomes one, you could get the following procedures at least partially paid for by your pet insurance provider:
- Root canals
- Gum disease
- Damaged teeth
- Teeth removal
It varies widely from plan to plan. Some companies, like Pumpkin, won’t pay for cleanings unless your pet has been diagnosed with periodontal disease (which falls under illness coverage). Others won’t pay for cleanings at all if all you have is their basic comprehensive coverage plan.
The word “comprehensive” in this context can be a little misleading. Comprehensive pet insurance plans provide benefits and coverage for both illness and accidents all in the same policy. But the benefits and the amount of financial reimbursement you are eligible for will vary from one company to the next. Furthermore, most pet insurance providers do not provide benefits for routine or preventative care as a part of their comprehensive plan. Pet owners who want those benefits usually have to pay extra to add supplemental coverage to their comprehensive pet insurance plan.
Routine or Preventative Care Plans
More and more pet insurance providers these days are offering wellness plans which help cover the cost of routine and preventative care services. These plans are usually sold separately from a comprehensive pet insurance plan. They also tend to work a little bit differently.
Most comprehensive pet insurance plans have deductibles and coinsurance amounts you must pay before you can submit a claim and get reimbursed. But most routine and preventative care plans simply asked you to pay the bill first and then submit your claim. Afterward, they will reimburse you for the reimbursement amount that you qualify for. Keep in mind that the maximum amount of reimbursement you are eligible for is reset on an annual basis. Once you receive the maximum amount, you’ll be paying out-of-pocket for the rest of the year. But as soon as that calendar year turns over, you will once again be eligible for reimbursement.
How Common are Pet Insurance Wellness Plans?
Not all pet insurance providers offer wellness plans. Furthermore, some companies split their wellness plans into different tiers which offer different levels of reimbursement and different preventative care options. Pets Best, for example, offers an EssentialWellness Plan for less than $20 a month, and a BestWellness Plan for just under $30 per month. Guess which plan comes with teeth cleaning services, and which one doesn’t?
You guessed it: the BestWellness plan (i.e., the more expensive one) is the only one that provides reimbursement for dental cleaning. But it could save you money in the long run by delaying or preventing the need for massive dental cleanings or extraction surgeries – so it’s worth looking into the cost of premiums versus the cost of paying out-of-pocket for serious periodontal issues.
Pets with chronic illness are often ineligible for either comprehensive or wellness plans, but may still qualify for an accident plan. These plans typically cover:
- Blood work
- And more
An accident is any sudden, acute health issue which results from something other than disease caused by pathogens or neglect. Getting injured after falling from a great height, getting hit by a car, swallowing non-edible objects, consuming poison, or sustaining bite/scratch wounds from a fight with another animal would be covered by accident insurance. Conversely, requiring a dental cleaning under anesthesia due to untreated periodontal disease would not qualify.
Standalone Dental Plans
Are there pet insurance plans available that exclusively cover dental benefits? You’d think there might be, since similar plans are popular and widely available for humans. But this is not the case. Pet insurance providers in the US incorporate their dental benefits – if they offer dental benefits in the first place – into their accident coverage, illness coverage, or wellness coverage. There aren’t separate pet insurance policies available that only focus on your animal’s oral health.
Dental Cleaning Pet Insurance Pre-Qualifications
Most pet insurance plans are reluctant to help you with the cost of pre-existing conditions. Many pet insurance plans ask that you enroll your furry family member into a policy before they turn 3 years of age if you want to get help paying for dental procedures. If you wait too long, your insurance provider will consider any form of periodontal disease a pre-existing condition and therefore will refuse to cover it. Your pet may still qualify for help with accidents, however.
Thankfully, some providers are a little more lenient. If you meet certain pre-qualifications, you can qualify for reimbursement if your pet develops periodontal disease at a later date. Those qualifications are:
- No detectable disease at the time of enrollment
- Pets 3+ years: must have a record of general anesthesia dental cleaning within the last 13 months
- You must pay for the cleaning yourself, out-of-pocket
If your pet can meet these qualifications, you will likely get reimbursed for any of your pet’s dental expenses which fall under your illness coverage.
Keeping an Eye On Your Pet’s Dental Health
If you can’t find pet insurance near you that covers dental cleaning, don’t despair just yet. You can take matters into your own hands with simple things like anti-tartar chew toys or special pet food designed to improve your animal’s oral health. You can even brush your dog’s or cat’s teeth! Pet stores these days are fully stocked with specialty tools and brushes – and even yummy-flavored pet toothpaste – to help make brushing an enjoyable part of your pet’s day.
It’s also important to keep up with your regular vet appointments, even if your pet insurance doesn’t have dental coverage. The sooner you spot the signs of dental disease, the easier it will be for you and your veterinarian to coordinate the most affordable care. And it’ll help your pet live a longer, happier, healthier life.