Cats and dogs use their mouths for more than just eating. Because they don't have hands, they have to use their teeth to accomplish many tasks, including grabbing, pulling, or carrying items. Dogs and cats also use their teeth to protect themselves or their loved ones. With regular wear on teeth, especially in dogs who chew bones and other hard objects, it's not surprising that at some point many animals will damage their teeth and/or mouth.
Pets can also suffer from oral illnesses, such as gum disease, abscesses, or infected teeth. These painful conditions can make a pet's life miserable and could even cause a mild-mannered animal to become irritable and testy. In addition, dental infections could increase a pet's chances of developing heart disease.
Unfortunately, many dental issues can be expensive to treat. For example, if your cat needs to have a tooth or multiple teeth removed, it can cost between $200 to $700 for the procedure, anesthesia, X-rays, and other associated costs. For dogs, the average cost to have one or more teeth extracted is between $500 and $2,500.
Pet insurance and dental coverage
Many pet insurance plans cover dental emergencies, illnesses, and injuries. So, if a dog breaks a tooth while playing tug of war or if a cat develops a painful abscess, these treatments can be covered by insurance. The following are just some of the dental issues that are traditionally covered by pet insurance:
Fractured or broken teeth
Most insurance companies work on a reimbursement basis, so if your pet does require dental care, you would pay the veterinarian directly, and then submit the bill to your insurance company for reimbursement.
What dental care is not covered by pet insurance
In most cases, preventive dental care, such as teeth cleanings or annual dental exams, is not covered by pet insurance. However, some insurers do offer wellness plans in addition to their traditional pet insurance plans. These plans are designed to pay for a portion of your pet's routine care, which could include dental cleaning.
Be aware that some plans will not cover a claim for conditions that could have been prevented with good dental care. For instance, if your pet develops periodontal disease because you didn't take care of their teeth, the insurer may deny your claim. In this case, you may want to look into an insurer (like Figo) that offers wellness plans to keep your pet in tip-top shape!
Dental insurance can save you money
When looking for dental coverage, it can pay to shop around. Plans differ from company to company, which means that a certain dental condition might be covered by one insurer, but not another. Contact us today to learn more about the types of dental issues that are covered by pet insurance.
Lizz Caputo is a Content Strategist at Figo, animal enthusiast, and owner of a rescued senior American Bully. Her hobbies include checking out new restaurants in her area, boxing, and petting dogs of all shapes and sizes.