What Is Pet Dental Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Pet insurance can help pay for vet costs related to new dental illnesses and injuries.
Cassidy Horton
By Cassidy Horton 
Edited by Sarah Schlichter

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Nerdy takeaways
  • Pet insurance typically covers unexpected dental issues caused by accidents or illnesses.

  • Dental coverage varies across plans — some cover periodontal disease and root canals, while others don’t.

  • For routine care like cleanings and annual exams, consider a wellness add-on.

A majority of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by age 3, studies show. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss, infections and even kidney and heart problems. Pet dental insurance can help prevent these issues.

What does pet dental insurance cover?

Generally, pet insurance policies classify dental coverage into two types: acute care and routine care.

Acute care

Acute care covers unexpected dental issues like accidents or illnesses. If your pet breaks a tooth or develops dental disease, traditional accident and illness policies may pay for tooth extractions, jaw fracture repairs, root canals or other treatment.

But coverage for dental illnesses can vary quite a bit between providers. Some insurers like Lemonade cover dental illnesses only if you purchase an optional add-on, while others like AKC and Healthy Paws exclude periodontal disease entirely.

Also, not all plans cover procedures like root canals. Read the fine print to understand exactly which dental treatments are covered or excluded. Coverage may differ based on when you enrolled your pet, where you live and the specifics of your policy. If dental illness coverage is a priority for you, confirm the details before enrolling.

Routine care

Standard pet insurance policies generally don’t pay for routine dental care such as teeth cleanings and checkups. To cover these, consider a wellness add-on. These plans can help manage costs for regular dental upkeep, preventing bigger problems down the line. However, not all pet insurance companies offer wellness coverage.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Most policies have a waiting period before dental coverage for accidents and illnesses becomes effective. Some plans may also have annual reimbursement limits for dental care.

Which dental issues aren’t covered by pet insurance?

Standard pet insurance policies generally won’t cover these dental treatments and procedures:

  • Routine teeth cleaning.

  • Cosmetic procedures like caps, crowns or orthodontic treatments.

  • Pre-existing dental diseases or injuries that were present before your policy's effective date.

🤓Nerdy Tip

While most accident and illness plans don’t pay for routine teeth cleanings, they might be covered if your vet prescribes a cleaning as a treatment for dental disease.

Which pet insurance companies cover dental care?

Many pet insurance companies offer some form of dental coverage. Here’s a closer look at how coverage works for some popular brands.


ASPCA's Complete Coverage plan includes tooth extractions for dental accidents, plus treatment for a wide range of dental issues like gingivitis, stomatitis (severe inflammation), periodontal disease, tooth abscesses and tumors​​. This plan also extends to teeth cleanings prescribed for dental diseases​​.

ASPCA’s accident-only plan covers only extractions for injured teeth. Its optional preventive care package pays for routine dental care and annual wellness exams to look for issues like periodontal disease.


Embrace's policies cover various dental conditions including broken teeth, extractions, gingivitis, root canals and crowns, stomatitis and periodontal disease. For dental illnesses, Embrace caps the coverage at $1,000 per policy year.

Embrace offers a Wellness Rewards plan you can purchase for an extra cost. Like many other wellness plans, it helps pay for routine dental care such as teeth cleaning and annual dental checkups. However, it covers extras that other companies may not, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental chews and teeth brushing by groomers or vets.

Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws covers dental accidents and certain conditions, including broken or chipped teeth, dental malocclusion (hereditary overbites and underbites), stomatitis and dentigerous cysts (oral cysts)​​. Its policies have a 15-day waiting period for dental expenses.

However, Healthy Paws doesn’t offer a wellness plan and won’t cover routine dental health care, like brushing and dental cleanings. It also won’t pay to treat illnesses stemming from lack of preventive care, such as periodontal disease due to tartar buildup from insufficient brushing.


Nationwide’s plans vary based on where you live and when you enrolled your pet. Depending on your policy, covered conditions could include tooth extractions resulting from an injury or illness, cavities, tooth abscesses, oral trauma, fractured teeth, oral cancer and root canals. Nationwide may also cover tooth resorption, a common condition where the dentin layer of a tooth begins to erode and decay beyond repair.

Depending on your plan, you may be able to add wellness coverage. However, not all wellness add-ons include dental cleaning benefits.


Spot's accident and illness plans include treatments for dental diseases and tooth extractions resulting from dental accidents​​. Spot also offers optional preventive care coverage, which helps pay for routine dental cleanings.


Trupanion’s comprehensive plan covers permanent and deciduous teeth extractions, caps and crowns, endodontic treatments like root canals, fractured jaw and tooth repair, root abscesses and tooth resorption.

But coverage applies only if your pet has an annual dental exam and you follow your vet’s recommendations for dental care. Trupanion doesn’t offer wellness coverage, so you can’t get reimbursed for this annual exam or any preventive cleanings.

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.