A Guide to Pet Dental Insurance (2024)

Pet dental insurance covers common issues such as tooth extractions, treatment for gingivitis, and root canals but typically won’t cover preventive care such as cleanings.

Jessica Martel
Written byJessica Martel
Jessica Martel
Jessica Martel

Jessica is a freelance writer, professional researcher, and mother of two rambunctious little boys. She specializes in personal finance, women and money, and financial literacy. Jessica is fascinated by the psychology of money and what drives people to make important financial decisions. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Cognitive Research Psychology.

Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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Updated February 2, 2024

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If your pet has bad breath, difficulty eating, or a loss of appetite, these could indicate possible dental issues.[1] Dental care is an important part of your pet’s overall health and well-being. Dental issues can become more serious and cause more expensive health problems if you don’t address them.

Pet dental insurance can cover common issues such as tooth extractions, treatment for gingivitis, and root canals. Add-on wellness plans are also typically available to help cover routine cleanings.

Here’s what you need to know about pet dental insurance and what to keep in mind when comparing quotes.

Quick Facts
  • On average, pet dental care costs about $500 annually.[2]

  • Some pet dental insurance plans provide comprehensive coverage for dental accidents and illnesses.

  • Standard pet insurance typically won’t cover dental cleanings, extractions, or any pre-existing dental conditions.

What pet dental insurance covers

Dental coverage can vary widely among pet insurance companies. Some pet insurers offer extensive coverage for incidents like a chipped tooth and illnesses like gingivitis.

Common dental issues that pet dental insurance covers include:

  • Broken or fractured tooth

  • Gingivitis

  • Periodontal disease

  • Tooth extractions

  • Root canals

Many pet insurance companies offer wellness plans as an add-on to a base insurance plan. The wellness add-on often covers routine dental care such as regular cleanings.

See Next: How Does Pet Insurance Work?

See Next: How Does Pet Insurance Work?

Common dental diseases in pets

Dental disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common medical conditions, affecting more than 80% of dogs and more than 50% of cats older than 3 years.[3] [4] Periodontal disease can occur when a bacterial infection causes inflammation of the tissue and bone around the teeth.[1]

Other issues that have a higher likelihood of occurring include gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums, and abscessed or infected teeth.

The table below provides cost estimates for treating dental illnesses and injuries.

IssueAverage Cost of Dental Treatment
Abscesses or infected teeth$200–$500
Fractured jaw$1,000–$3,000
Fractured tooth$200–$1,000
Gingivitis$300–$770
Periodontal disease$400–$1,050
Root canal$1,500–$6,000

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What pet dental insurance doesn’t cover

Most pet dental insurance policies don’t cover the following:

  • Routine dental care: This includes regular dental cleanings for your pet’s teeth. If you want coverage for routine care, many pet insurance companies offer wellness plans that you can buy as an add-on to your pet insurance policy.

  • Cosmetic procedures: This includes orthodontic treatments such as caps, implants, or filings.

  • Pre-existing conditions: This includes any dental diseases that presented before your pet’s policy came into effect.

Which pet insurance companies cover dental care?

Many of the best pet insurance companies cover dental care, including ASPCA, Embrace, and Healthy Paws. Here’s what you need to know about their pet dental coverage.

ASPCA

ASPCA Pet Insurance has three health insurance plans which offer different dental insurance coverages.

  • Complete Coverage: This includes accident and illness coverage that includes dental illness treatments, such as:

    • Gingivitis

    • Stomatitis

    • Periodontal disease

    • Tooth abscesses

    • Cancerous oral growths and tumors

    • Tooth extractions

    • X-rays

    • Scans

    • Treatments

    • Prescription medicine

    • Teeth cleanings when they’re prescribed to treat a dental illness or disease

  • Accident Only: This plan provides coverage for the extraction of injured teeth.

  • Preventive Care Coverage: This is available as an add-on to a base plan. It covers routine teeth cleanings for dogs and cats. It offers some coverage for an annual wellness exam, to help catch any dental issues early on.

ASPCA doesn’t cover the following:

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • Cosmetic, endodontic, or orthodontic services

  • Routine dental care

ASPCA Waiting Period

ASPCA imposes a 14-day waiting period for accident and illness policy coverage, but preventative care coverage starts as soon as your plan takes effect.

Embrace

Embrace offers dental illness coverage in its Accident and Illness Insurance plan for up to $1,000 per year for coverage of the following:

  • Broken, chipped, or fractured teeth

  • Extractions

  • Gingivitis

  • Root canals and crowns

  • Stomatitis

  • Periodontal disease

Embrace pet insurance doesn’t cover the following:

  • Routine dental care

  • Annual dental exams

  • Dental chews

  • Pet toothbrush or toothpaste

  • Teeth brushing by a vet or groomer

  • Dietary dental supplements

Embrace Waiting Period

If you want coverage for regular dental care, you can purchase an additional Wellness Reward policy. Embrace has a 14-day waiting period for illness coverage, but accident coverage starts on your policy’s effective date.

Healthy Paws

A Healthy Paws pet insurance plan provides coverage for the following dental issues:

  • Broken or chipped teeth due to outside accident or trauma to the mouth

  • Dental malocclusion

  • Dentigerous cysts

  • Reconstruction of teeth if injured in an accident

  • Stomatitis

  • Tooth extraction

The policy excludes:

  • Pre-existing conditions

  • Routine dental healthcare

  • Extractions and reconstructions from dental disease

  • Periodontal disease and other issues due to the lack of preventive care

  • Retention of deciduous teeth

Healthy Paws Waiting Period

Healthy Paws has a 15-day waiting period for dental injuries once you enroll your pet.

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How to find pet dental insurance 

When looking for pet dental insurance, consider the following tips:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/00dd026525/paw.svg

    Review your pet’s needs

    Knowing the coverage you want for your pet will help you narrow down the insurance company and plan that’s best for your situation. Consider whether you want a more comprehensive accident and illness plan or if an accident-only plan has enough coverage to give you peace of mind.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/fa11c1fe75/comparison-website.svg

    Compare pet insurance quotes

    To find coverage that meets your pet’s needs and your budget, compare multiple pet insurance quotes. Consider factors including reimbursement choice, the deductible amount, and if the plan has any annual or lifetime limits.

    For example, Embrace offers dental illness coverage in its Accident and Illness Insurance plan with a limit of up to $1,000 per year.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/4d03c561b5/declaration-page.svg

    Understand your coverage

    Before you purchase pet dental insurance, make sure you read the policy’s fine print. Do you understand what’s covered and what’s excluded?

    While most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing dental conditions, check if any other exclusions could prevent your pet from getting the coverage you expect.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/cf28042561/shot.svg

    Consider a pet insurance wellness plan

    Most pet dental insurance plans don’t include routine dental care, such as regular cleanings. If you want extra coverage for this type of care, you often need to add a wellness plan to your base insurance plan.

    In addition to routine dental care, many wellness plans provide other preventative care such as yearly vet visits and vaccinations.

Pet dental insurance FAQs

Learn more about the value of pet insurance, and check out the answers to common questions about pet dental insurance below.

  • Can you visit any veterinarian with pet dental insurance?

    It depends. Many insurance companies allow you to visit any licensed vet, emergency clinic, or rehab facility to get your pet care. Review the fine print of your insurance company’s policy for details.

  • Does pet dental insurance cover teeth cleaning?

    Not typically. Most pet dental insurance plans don’t cover teeth cleaning. If you want coverage for routine dental care, consider adding a wellness plan to your base coverage.

  • Does pet insurance cover dental disease?

    It depends. Many pet insurance companies cover dental disease, also known as periodontal disease. But coverage varies among insurers, so it’s best to review your pet insurance policy for exclusions.

  • Does USAA pet insurance cover dental?

    Yes. USAA works with Embrace Pet Insurance to provide dental coverage. Embrace offers dental illness coverage in its Accident and Illness Insurance plan for up to $1,000 per year.

Sources

  1. United States Department of Agriculture. "Canine Periodontal Disease (PD)."
  2. ASPCA. "Cutting Pet Care Costs."
  3. VCA Animal Hospitals. "Dental Disease in Cats."
  4. VCA Animal Hospitals. "Dental Disease in Cats."
Jessica Martel
Jessica Martel

Jessica is a freelance writer, professional researcher, and mother of two rambunctious little boys. She specializes in personal finance, women and money, and financial literacy. Jessica is fascinated by the psychology of money and what drives people to make important financial decisions. She holds a Masters of Science degree in Cognitive Research Psychology.

Courtney Mikulski
Edited byCourtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
Courtney Mikulski
Courtney MikulskiSenior Editor, Auto
  • 3+ years producing insurance and personal finance content

  • Main architect of the Insurify Quality Score

Courtney’s deep personal finance knowledge extends beyond insurance to credit cards, consumer lending, and banking. She thrives on creating actionable content.

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