The concept of dry food providing any dental benefit whatsoever is a total myth. In fact, if dry food was so good for a cat's teeth, why are Missy's so terrible? Why is dental disease such a huge problem for so many cats when the majority of them are fed kibble to begin with? It makes no sense. The truth is, dry food causes
more dental problems than it solves. It shatters into bits that lodge between teeth and under gums (that is, if it isn't just swallowed whole), providing starchy food for bacteria. Cats are carnivores. Their teeth are meant for shearing into chunks of meat and bone, not grinding up dry nuggets of cereal. If you really want to keep them clean, feed them raw meat, gizzards, bone. Or learn to brush them
You can read more about feline dental health and kibble here: http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=...dcleantheteeth
As for the cost of wet food, you could save big bucks by sourcing your own fresh meat and feeding a balanced raw diet. Just ask Love4himies or want4rain, it's way cheaper than any commercial kibble or canned. If that isn't an option, I want you to think of this: spending more on food up front will save money on vet bills in the long run. Kibble is the number one cause of a huge number of medical problems in felines. Diabetes, kidney disease, allergies, IBD, dental disease, and bladder/urinary tract issues all have a direct link to diet. It's considerably cheaper to feed wet food for a year than it is to have a perineal urethrostomy (penis removal) on a male cat with a blocked urinary tract.
I know I've posted this link about a billion times, but if you haven't read it yet you really should. Written by a vet (one of the few who actually knows a thing or two about feline nutrition), it's a very readable article on why cats need wet food. Should be mandatory reading for anyone with a cat, as far as I'm concerned. http://www.catinfo.org/