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Dental Care For Pets

Navigating the Complex World of Pet Dental Insurance

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Maintaining Your Pet’s Oral Health is Essential

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that the majority of cats and dogs exhibit oral disease by three years of age. Therefore, it is important to invest in the maintenance and treatment of your pet’s teeth. Only a small percentage of pet owners invest in the proper dental care for their pets, but it is essential to do so. Similar to humans, poor oral health can affect overall health and can significantly impact the health of other vital body systems, including the kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, and nervous system.

It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of dental disease to ensure the best care for your pet. Signs of poor dental health may include: bad breath, broken teeth, difficulty eating, lack of appetite, mouth sensitivity, drooling, bleeding of the mouth, and swelling. Working with your veterinarian to create a dental wellness plan can help you save thousands of dollars down the road.

Most Basic Pet Insurance Policies Don’t Cover Dental Care

Navigating pet insurance and determining if there is full or partial dental coverage can be complex and confusing. Pet owners who invest in pet insurance should be aware that most policies do not cover dental care—an essential component to pet health. Accident coverage may cover only dental accidents—same with illness coverage. In essence, dental coverage may be very specific to only certain conditions. In addition, most pre-existing conditions in general are not covered. Some pet insurance policies may cover certain teeth or specific conditions; the best bet for pet owners looking for full dental coverage is to invest in comprehensive pet insurance. As you are discovering as you shop around for pet dental insurance, there is a vast variety of plans, riders, and add ons you need to filter through in order to purchase a policy that ensures full dental coverage. In addition, your rates may vary by your location and your pet’s breed and age. But don’t throw in the towel—there are specific and essential steps (below) that you can take to select the right pet dental insurance plan for you.

Read the Fine Print on Any Pet Insurance Policy

Pet owners should examine pet insurance policies very closely to ensure that common dental conditions are covered, such as: periodontal disease, gingivitis, deciduous teeth, broken teeth, extractions, abscesses, growths and tumors, and other conditions requiring complex treatment. Even though it may be comprehensive, the insurance policy still may be such that it requires further investment in an add-on or rider to ensure full dental coverage, which still may not cover routine dental wellness. You must determine if your pet insurance policy would include dental, or if you need to purchase an add on dental plan. Even then, that add on may only cover certain conditions and procedures. The moral of the story is to thoroughly examine every pet insurance policy you are considering to get a clear idea of what would be covered and to read the fine print of any pet insurance plan to understand what dental procedures and conditions are covered and not covered. Based upon your pet’s age and propensity for dental issues or pre-existing conditions, and carefully reading the fine print of each pet insurance policy, you can then feel confident that you have selected the best insurance plan for your pet’s dental needs.

Recommendations for Dental Wellness

Whether covered by pet insurance or not, regular dental exams and cleanings, as well as care outside of the veterinarian’s office, should be a part of every pet’s wellness maintenance plan. Veterinarians suggest annual dental wellness exams, a home dental hygiene program, and careful monitoring of your pet’s dental health. Work with your veterinarian to create a plan that ensures maximum dental health for your pet.

Also Read: Pet Insurance and Vaccines

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