Healthy teeth are just as important for pets as they are for humans. It is important that their teeth are kept clean and that they are checked regularly. However, teeth cleaning isn’t always included in pet insurance and it often depends on which policy you end up choosing.
Is dental treatment covered by pet insurance?
Dental care isn’t cheap for pets and insurance can help if there is an accident involving your pet’s teeth or gums. It is important to check the fine print on the insurance policy and even inquire about teeth cleaning or dental care before deciding on a policy.
Read on to find out what dental problems your pet could suffer from and how you can help to keep their teeth healthy.
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- What is covered when you get cat insurance?
- This is why you need insurance for an older cat
Why does my pet need dental insurance?
Just like how humans have teeth related problems, the same can happen to animals. Whether it is broken teeth or damaged gums, they might need to visit the vet to fix the problem. Some animals love to chew on things and could easily pierce their gum if something is too sharp.
Dental coverage will offer reassurance that the costs will be covered by the insurance provider, especially as the treatment for dental problems can be expensive.
Dental problems that your pet could have
If a pet has bad dental hygiene, it can cause a lot of problems. It can impact the teeth, gums and mouth, sometimes leading to other areas of the body too. There are some common dental problems that pets suffer from, which are:
- Gum disease: this often shows as red, swollen and bleeding gums or even loose teeth. It can become a serious problem if not treated.
- Tooth infection: A few side effects of tooth infections can be an eye infection, tooth loss and even organ failure.
- Plaque: Just like with humans, plaque is also a common problem for pets. If it is not cleaned, the plaque will turn into tartar, which can lead to abscesses and tooth loss.
- Chipped or cracked teeth: while this is more common in dogs, it can happen in cats too. A chipped tooth can be very painful, depending on how deep the chip in the tooth is.
How to know if your pet has dental problems
It isn’t always obvious when your pet had a dental problem. This is why it is important to check their teeth regularly. If your pet displays any of the following signs, they should visit the vet:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating
- Only chewing on one side of their mouth
- Swollen, red gums that may also bleed
- Yellow or browning teeth
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drooling
- Losing weight
- Blood in their water bowl or on their chew toys
- Becoming a fussy eater
- Sneezing or dripping snot
Some of these signs might point to a problem that is easily fixed. However, if they are left to worsen it can cause even more trouble for your pet. Not to mention a more costly vet bill.
Video: How to know if your cat has dental problems
Can pet insurance cover teeth cleaning?
Unfortunately, not all pet insurance policies will cover teeth cleaning or dental problems in general. The level of coverage will vary, depending on the policy type and the policy provider.
It is important to read the policy details carefully to find out if dental care is excluded. If the policy is unclear, it is best to contact the provider and double check. If the policy you want doesn’t cover dental care, another provider will.
However, if the dental problem is caused by an accident or injury, it might be covered under the accident section of the policy. If the dental problem is caused by the owner not looking after the pet’s teeth properly, you won’t be able to make a claim.
Most insurance providers won’t cover the cost of dental cleaning, as it is often a preventative measure, as opposed to solving a dental problem like a broken tooth or bleeding gums.
Frequently asked questions about your pet’s teeth
How do I keep my pet’s teeth healthy?
It is important to make dental hygiene part of your pet’s daily care routine. There are a number of options when it comes to cleaning your pet’s teeth and some of them your pet might even enjoy! We recommend the following methods to keep your pet’s teeth clean:
- Brush their teeth: there are toothbrushes and toothpaste designed specifically for pets such as cats and dogs. They are often in flavours that taste like food, so your pet will probably enjoy when you rub it on their teeth.
- Gels and sprays: if your pet doesn’t enjoy having a toothbrush in their mouth, there are dental gels and sprays that can be used instead.
- Diet: certain diets can help to reduce the risk of gum disease. Vets can help to recommend a diet that will help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums.
- Dental chewable toys and treats: when pets chew on dental toys or a treat, it helps to prevent the plaque on their teeth from hardening.
- Regular check-ups: when a dental problem is noticed early, it is often easier and cheaper to fix. Having regular check-ups with the vet will allow them to check the pet’s teeth and make sure everything is as it should be.
Would dental coverage for pets include cosmetic work?
Cosmetic work for a pet’s teeth could include straightening their teeth or having them cleaned. However, most dental coverage won’t include cosmetic work.
A vet might suggest that a pet has their teeth professionally cleaned to help clear away any plaque build-up or tackle poor hygiene. If this is the case, you will often need to cover the cost yourself, unless an insurance policy states that it will cover dental cleaning costs.
Always double check the insurance policy documents
It is important to read over your insurance policy documents to find out what is and isn’t covered. Often, dental cleaning isn’t included in the dental care that is sometimes covered by insurance providers. If it is covered, the premium for the policy will often be more expensive to cover the extra costs.