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What is pet dental insurance, and what does it cover?

Collage of a hand brushing a dog's teeth, with text,

One of the most popular optional extras for pet insurance is dental coverage. Oral health can be crucial for pets, but most standard pet insurance policies won’t cover it automatically (unless you opt-in, which can add to your premium).

So what’s included in dental cover? And more importantly, what’s not?

Here’s what you need to know about dental coverage for pet insurance.

Do pets need oral care?

Collage of a cartoon dog brushing its own teeth, text:

Usually, we only think to bathe or brush our furry friends, but oral care is essential to looking after a pet.

From an early age, it’s important to desensitise your pet to teeth/cheek brushing with toothpaste specifically designed for their needs (not for humans).

Most vets will recommend you brush your pet’s teeth daily or at least 2 - 3 times per week. Some dental treats can help clean teeth, but it’s still vital to get in there yourself if your pet tolerates it. Otherwise, our pets can develop many of the same problems we do: cavities, gingivitis, fractured teeth, bad breath, and more.

What does dental cover pet insurance cover?

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Dental cover (sometimes called “Major Dental Coverage”) is designed to reimburse eligible oral veterinary treatment and care costs under your pet insurance policy, usually up to a certain percentage or limit.

Typically, dental coverage is only offered as an optional extra on an accident & illness or comprehensive policy – so you’re unlikely to get it on a cheap pet insurance policy.

Some pet insurance providers who offer dental benefits may cover the treatment of:

  • Gingivitis
  • Abscesses
  • Oral tumours
  • Medically-necessary removal of teeth (due to infection, cavities, tooth fracture)

Keep in mind that limits, excesses, waiting periods, and exclusions may apply. 

You may also have to showcase a history of annual dental checks to your provider to support your claim. Doing this proves that the claim wasn’t a result of negligence, poor caretaking, or a pre-existing condition – all of which are standard pet insurance exclusions.

What isn’t covered by dental pet insurance?

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Dental coverage isn’t a standard inclusion on most pet insurance policies. Unless the product disclosure statement (PDS) says dental care is covered, any claims related to oral injuries or illnesses likely won’t be approved. 

However, even when dental coverage is offered, some common exclusions may apply, such as:

  • Dental procedures and care.
  • Certain oral or dental diseases.
  • Fractured or chipped teeth.
  • Routine or preventative dental treatments.
  • Electric procedures like teeth cleaning/scaling.
  • Removal of deciduous teeth. 
  • Orthodontics and crowns (such as root canals and cosmetic or corrective dental surgery). 
  • Pre-existing oral conditions. 

Read the PDS and talk to your pet insurance provider if you’re unsure about the terms and conditions of your coverage.

Should I get dental coverage for my pet?

Collage of a cat grimacing while a hand brushes its teeth.

Determining the right level of pet insurance coverage for you will depend on your needs and circumstances. For example, dental coverage might suit someone looking for comprehensive protection for their pet, while someone on a budget might opt out. 

Comparing pet insurance policies can give you an idea about the value and coverage available to you so that you can make an informed decision.

Which pet insurance providers cover dental?

Collage of a pile of books with a magnifying glass and paw prints.

A few pet insurance providers in Australia offer dental coverage, typically as an optional extra or as part of their comprehensive plans. 

  • Australian Seniors
  • Bow Wow Meow
  • Bupa
  • Coles*
  • Guild Insurance
  • Knose*
  • HCF*
  • HIF
  • Mad Paws
  • Petsy
  • PetsOnMe*
  • Pounce
  • Prosure
  • Trupanion*

*Provider won a 2022 Mozo Experts Choice Pet Insurance Award

Be aware that limits, exclusions, waiting periods, and excesses may apply, and will vary depending on the pet insurance policy.

Some pet insurance providers may also offer limited dental care protection (usually teeth-cleaning) as a non-insurance benefit or an optional extra. These providers include:

  • RACQ* (teeth cleaning optional benefit).
  • PetSecure (teeth cleaning optional benefit).
  • Woolworths* (optional non-insurance routine care benefit).
  • Medibank* (routine care optional benefit).

Always read the PDS for the full story on benefits, terms, and conditions. 

Looking for a winner? Check out our best pet insurance hub for policies by Mozo award-winning providers. 

Compare a selection of pet insurance policies below.

Compare pet insurance - last updated 1 March 2024

Search promoted pet insurances below. Advertiser disclosure Important information on terms, conditions and sub-limits.
  • Accident and illness

    100% Australian owned, Pet Circle Pet Insurance comes with no sneaky sub-limits and your choice of 3 annual limits up to $30K. Enjoy 3 benefit percentage options; 70% 80% or 90%, subject to annual excess. Choose what level of annual excess you need, from $0 to $150. Team of pet experts to help you on hand. Cancel at any time.

    annual benefit limit
    30000
    benefit percentage
    90
    choice of excess
    $0, $75, $150
    choice of vet
    Yes

    available discounts

    • -
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  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge

    Pet Insurance

    Enjoy flexible options that make it simple to tailor your pet insurance. Get a quote in just 2 minutes. Aussie customer care team. There are no sub limits and emergency help is available 24/7. Add optional extras such as dental illness and specialised therapies. Get 10% off your first-year premium using the exclusive promo code "MOZO10" - T&Cs apply.

    annual benefit limit
    $7,500, $12,5000, or $25,000
    benefit percentage
    70%, 80% or 90%
    choice of excess
    $0, $100, $200 Annual Excess
    choice of vet
    Yes

    available discounts

    • -
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    Details
  • Major Medical

    Get two months free when you sign up with Pet Insurance Australia. Choose between three levels of cover for your pet. Policies cover a range of specified accidental injuries and illnesses. Get refunded for up to 80% of eligible vet bills. 21 day cooling off period.

    annual benefit limit
    $30,000
    benefit percentage
    80%
    choice of excess
    $0, $100, $200, $500
    choice of vet
    Yes

    available discounts

    • 2 months free when you pay by monthly or fortnightly. Offer end on the 30th June 2024
    Compare
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  • Pet Insurance

    Get cover for a generous 80% of your eligible vet bill when you take your furry family members to yourchoice of registered vet or veterinary practice in Australia. Enjoy a 15% discount on your first year’s premium for new policies quoted online. T&Cs apply.

    annual benefit limit
    $12,000
    benefit percentage
    80%
    choice of excess
    $100
    choice of vet
    Yes

    available discounts

    • Receive 15% off the first year’s premium for new policies quoted online
    Compare
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  • Pet Plan

    Get dental, physio and behaviour cover included as standard with Fetch 30k cover with no sub-limits. Your plan includes free 24/7 vet support and an all Aussie vet nurse team to manage claims. Claims are paid directly to your vet.

    annual benefit limit
    $30,000
    benefit percentage
    80%, 90% or 100%
    choice of excess
    $0 - $100
    choice of vet
    Yes

    available discounts

    • -
    Compare
    Details

* Terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits may apply to any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. These terms, conditions, exclusions, limits and sub-limits could affect the level of benefits and cover available under any of the insurance products shown on the Mozo website. Please refer to the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and the Target Market Determination on the provider's website for further information before making any decisions about an insurance product.

^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Pet Insurance Awards

Evlin DuBose
Evlin DuBose
RG146
Senior Money Writer

Evlin, RG146 Generic Knowledge certified and a UTS Communications graduate, is a leading voice in finance news. As Mozo's go-to writer for RBA and interest rates, her work regularly features in Google's Top Stories and major publications like News.com.au.