You might not give your pet’s teeth a lot of thought, but having healthy teeth and gums is an important part of your cat’s or dog’s overall well-being. Broken or decayed teeth can cause pain, and neglected gums can cause an infection that can spread to other parts of your pet’s body. It’s estimated that about three-quarters of pets have some form of gum disease. Some pet insurance companies don’t cover dental care, so it’s important to choose one that does if you don’t want to be paying for dental care out of pocket.
- Diminishing deductible (if no claim made in year)
- Claims are processed and paid promptly
- Extra reimbursements: grooming, training, etc.
- Optional wellness plan
Among the various dental insurance companies for pets, we’ve chosen Embrace Pet Insurance as our top pick. They cover both dental accidents and illnesses that cause dental issues. Those are covered as part of the basic plan. There’s also an optional wellness plan that can cover dental checkups, cleanings, and more.
Pet dental insurance can be confusing because it might be included or excluded from typical pet insurance policies. What we’ve done is looked at many of the most popular pet insurance companies to see whether they cover dental procedures. Then we ranked them by category so you can use this information to make the best decision for your pets.
The Best Pet Dental Insurance Companies
Best Overall Pet Dental Insurance Company: Embrace Pet Insurance
Our top spot for pet insurance offering dental coverage goes to Embrace Pet Insurance. Embrace offers a comprehensive pet insurance plan that includes coverage for new incidents and conditions such as broken teeth, extractions, gum disease, root canals, and stomatitis. If any of these conditions begin after your waiting period, they are eligible for coverage. In most states, the dental insurance maximum is $1,000 per year.
In addition to coverage for injuries, accidents, and illnesses affecting the teeth and gums, Embrace offers a separate wellness benefit that can cover preventative treatment and other types of dental conditions not covered by the basic insurance. This would cover things like dental checkups, routine cleanings, pet toothbrushes, dietary supplements for dental health, and so on.
Embrace Pet Insurance is also one of our favorite pet insurance companies for non-dental-related conditions. They offer some great benefits like a diminishing deductible, quick claim turnaround, and extra reimbursements for preventative care with the wellness benefit.
Important features of Embrace Pet Insurance:
- Covers injuries, accidents, and illnesses affecting dental health
- Dental maximum applies in most states
- Offers optional wellness benefit to cover preventative and routine dental treatments
- Fast claim processing
- Diminishing deductible
Read more about this company in our Embrace Pet Insurance Review.
Runner-up Pet Dental Insurance Company: Petplan Pet Insurance
Coming in at a close second for dental insurance for pets is Petplan. Petplan offers comprehensive care that includes dental care benefits. They cover accidents, injuries, and illnesses for all teeth. They also cover root canal therapy and other more advanced procedures that some companies don’t cover.
Petplan offers pre-authorization for procedures and treatments. This means that if your pet needs a root canal, for example, you can have your veterinarian send in the pre-authorization form so you will know exactly what you’ll need to pay. This is a great way to keep your veterinary expenses under control and to reduce the chances of unpleasant surprises.
This pet insurance company offers well-rounded care for the rest of your pet’s body, too. They have flexible options that allow you to choose which type and level of coverage is best. You can also choose between annual and per-condition deductibles, making it possible to truly customize your coverage.
Important Features of Petplan Pet Insurance:
- Covers both accidents/injuries and illnesses related to dental health
- Coverage for life; no upper age limit
- Pre-authorization offered
- Choose your deductible type
- Some claims paid within 5 days, most paid within 14 days
Interested in learning more about Petplan? Check out our review here.
Best Pet Dental Insurance Alternative for Pets With Current Dental Issues: Pet Assure
Since no pet dental insurance will cover pre-existing conditions, a pet insurance alternative like Pet Assure is the best bet for someone whose cat or dog (or llama or potbellied pig) already has dental issues. This is not a pet insurance policy; instead, it is a membership-based pet insurance alternative. Rather than submitting claims, you will simply visit a participating veterinarian and receive a discount on their in-house services, including any type of dental work that they do in the office.
The discount is 25 percent off of their regular prices. There is no deductible or maximum to worry about; you just pay 75 percent of the regular cost of any dental procedures that your pet needs. The benefit here is that there are no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. If your pet already has gum disease or you know that they need to have a tooth extracted, that’s no problem at all. You will still receive the discount for any work that your pet has done after your enrollment date.
Another nice thing about Pet Assure is that they cover all types of animals, not just cats and dogs. If you have many different types of pets or if you have an exotic pet, their care will also be discounted as long as you see a participating veterinarian.
Important Features of Pet Assure:
- Covers all types of dental procedures done in the vet’s office
- Does not cover prescription medications
- Includes all types of pets
- Covers pre-existing conditions
- No claim forms, deductibles, or maximums
- Not pet insurance; this is a pet insurance alternative
- 25% off of all services
If you want to know more about Pet Assure, read our review!
Best Pet Dental Insurance Offering Direct Vet Payments: Trupanion Pet Insurance
We love Trupanion because the company can pay participating veterinarians directly for dental work and other procedures. This setup makes it easy to pay for dental care for your pet since you will only need to pay your percentage of covered procedures, rather than paying the full amount upfront and then waiting for reimbursement for covered expenses after submitting a claim. Trupanion covers 90 percent on all policies once the deductible has been met, so if your veterinarian participates with the plan and you have met your deductible, it’s possible that you would have to pay only 10 percent of the cost of the eligible dental work that your pet needs.
Trupanion covers new dental injuries and illnesses. Like all insurance companies, they do not cover pre-existing conditions. There are a few limitations; for example, root canal therapy is only covered on certain teeth. Baby teeth are covered if they need to be extracted, but impacted baby teeth are only covered if you enroll your pet before they are 6 months old. It is important to understand the limitations and exclusions of any pet dental insurance plan you are considering.
Trupanion’s overall coverage is also excellent. There are no payout limits (you will be covered for your vet’s actual fee) and the deductible is customizable. One caveat is that this company uses a per-condition deductible rather than an annual deductible model, so each time your pet has a new condition, dental or otherwise, you will be paying that deductible.
Important Features of Trupanion:
- Use at any veterinarian but direct pay is only with participating veterinarians
- No payout limits
- All plans are 90% coverage after deductible has been met
- 24/7 customer service
- Per-condition deductibles
- Vet exams are not covered
Curious about this plan and wondering whether it’s right for you? Don’t miss our Trupanion Pet Insurance Review.
Best Pet Dental Insurance Available as a Rider: Petfirst Pet Insurance
Petfirst Pet Insurance is a good option for pet parents looking for pet insurance plans offering dental coverage as a rider. Their regular policy does not cover dental care with the exception of periodontal disease (gum disease). Because dental coverage is optional, it can keep the plan affordable for those who do not want or need pet dental insurance.
If you do want coverage for dental care, however, you can purchase the wellness rider. This allows you to have routine dental care covered for your pet to help prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay in the future. There are a couple of different riders to choose from, as the plans offered by Petfirst can be customized.
Petfirst also offers other perks, like quick claim turnaround, short waiting periods for most conditions, and no maximum age, so you can enroll your senior pets as well as your puppies and kittens. There is also no vet exam required to start coverage, which is good for those who aren’t due for a checkup yet. Be aware that there are long waiting periods for a few conditions and also that the deductible model is per-condition.
Important Features of Petfirst Pet Insurance:
- Routine care rider for dental care
- Periodontal disease covered under regular plan
- Fast claim payments
- Per-condition deductible
- Varied waiting periods
- Lots of options to choose from
You can find more information about Petfirst here in our review.
How We Chose the Best Dental Insurance for Pets
Since pet dental insurance isn’t sold separately from regular pet insurance, we looked at several features of the plans we have recommended. Here are a few of them:
Some dental insurance plans cover only accidents, some only diseases, and some both accidents and diseases. We favored those that cover both. Also, while no pet insurance covers routine dental work like cleanings, some do have riders that will cover those procedures; those also got points from us.
Of course, we also considered the procedures and treatments covered that are unrelated to dental work. Pet insurance covers a wide range of illnesses, injuries, and accidents, and dental insurance does not exist in a vacuum. We looked at the types of veterinary services the insurance companies include and exclude in their basic plans, and we also considered what is covered in any optional riders that might be available.
How the Deductible Works
When it comes to pet insurance deductibles, there is generally not a separate deductible for dental work. However, it is important to understand how the deductible works for the insurance plan you decide to purchase. There are two main types of pet insurance deductibles: annual and per-condition.
An annual deductible is one that you pay once each year. If you have a $500 deductible, there won’t be any benefits paid until you meet that deductible in a year. Once the deductible is met, whether that is due to dental treatment or any other type of treatment, the insurance will begin covering the agreed-upon percentage of further eligible expenses.
A per-condition deductible is one that you pay for each condition that your pet develops. That means that you might pay the deductible more than once each year, depending on how many different conditions your pet comes down with over the course of a year. Per-condition deductibles would apply to both dental-related conditions and non-dental-related conditions like accidents, injuries, and illnesses affecting other parts of the body.
We generally prefer the annual deductible model when we make our recommendations simply because there is no chance of you having to pay more than one deductible in a 12-month period.
How Much It Costs
When evaluating dental insurance for pets, we looked at the monthly or annual premiums because that is something that most pet owners are interested in. We considered whether you would need to pay extra for a dental insurance rider (over and above the cost of the regular pet insurance policy) or whether dental coverage is included in the plan. While we don’t believe that premium cost should be the primary consideration in choosing a plan, we do understand that affordability is the key to people insuring their pets.
How to Choose the Best Pet Dental Insurance for You
When it comes to making your own decision, you have a lot of criteria to consider. Once you find a plan or plans that you like, think about the following before you commit to one pet insurance company over another:
Think About Your Pet’s Current Dental Health
Keep in mind that just like all pet insurance policies, pet dental insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. If your pet currently has gum disease, a broken tooth, or rampant dental decay, none of this will be covered with a new pet dental insurance plan. In this case, you will want to consider a pet insurance alternative or a discount plan that doesn’t differentiate between pre-existing and new conditions.
Look At the Rest of the Policy
Since dental insurance for pets is not sold separately from other types of pet insurance, you probably won’t want to make a decision based solely on the dental insurance benefits. Check whether things like office exams are covered, whether there are riders available for preventative care, or whether there are age limitations if any of those are important to you. You’ll also want to see how the deductible works, what the level of coverage is, and whether there are any exclusions that pertain to your pet. While dental insurance is an important part of a pet insurance policy, it is not the only part, so be sure you understand how the entire plan works.
Read What Other Customers Had to Say
Getting information from the pet insurance website and from review pieces such as this is an excellent start to learn more about the companies you might consider. Once you know the basics, however, it’s important to check out what customers have experienced. Are claims really paid as quickly as the company says? How is the customer service? Has the company gone above and beyond to help pet owners access the care they need for their furry family members? Reading both positive and negative reviews can help you decide whether a particular pet dental insurance plan will work well for you.
The Final Verdict
Choosing a pet dental insurance plan can seem overwhelming, but once you decide which criteria are most important and you look through a few policies, you will get more comfortable with weighing various features of the different insurance companies. We urge you to look through our comprehensive reviews of each of the featured pet insurance companies and also to do some of your own research to help you choose the best option for you.