Pet owners spend more on dental conditions than prevention

Pet owners spend more on dental conditions than prevention

Encourage clients to be vigilant with their pets' preventive dental care and help them save money.
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Apr 18, 2012
By dvm360.com staff

In 2011, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) policyholders spent more than $8.5 million on dental conditions, the 11th most common type of claim submitted to the company.

Treating the condition instead of preventing it can take a bite out of clients' wallets. Last year, the average claim amount for a pet’s teeth cleaning was $164. In contrast, the average claim amount for treating tooth-related disease was $238. Periodontal disease accounted for the most dental claims received by VPI—nearly 20,000. Tooth infections, inclusive of cavities and abscesses, accounted for the second most common tooth-related claims, totaling nearly 4,800.

According to the AVMA, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by 3 years of age. Between regular check-ups, encourage pet owners to look for the warning signs of gum disease such as bad breath, red and swollen gums, yellow-brown crusts of tartar along the gum lines, and bleeding or pain when the gums or mouth are touched.

Here are some dental health facts you can share with clients:

Dogs

  • Puppies have 28 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 3 to 4 weeks of age.
  • They have 42 permanent teeth that generally grow in between 5 to 7 months of age.
  • Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue among dogs.

Cats

  • Kittens have 26 temporary teeth that begin to show at about 2 to 3 weeks of age.
  • They have 30 permanent teeth that generally grow in by 5 to 6 months of age.
  • Resorptive lesions are the most common tooth disease among cats.

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