Pet Dental Care

Preventing Dental Disease in Pets

One of the most common but also frequently overlooked health problems for companion animals is dental disease. By age 3, most pets have some degree of periodontal disease. This occurs as a result of bacterial infection along the gum line, due to the formation of plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance containing millions of bacteria that forms along the tooth surface and gum line.

Without frequent removal, plaque eventually hardens into tartar. Left untreated, this leads to gradual destruction of the gum tissue and supportive structures around the teeth, which can result in tooth loss. Not only is periodontal disease harmful and painful because it results in loss of teeth, but it can also can also affect important vital organs such as the heart, liver, lungs, and kidneys.

comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT)

When it comes to dental disease, most pet owners don’t realize the extent of the problem until it is quite advanced; hence the importance of yearly to twice yearly physical examinations including a thorough oral health care assessment. In the early stages of dental disease, your veterinarian can recommend home dental health care measures such as tooth brushing, dental treats and rinses, and dental diets.

When professional dental care is needed for your pet, general anesthesia is necessary. Your veterinarian will discuss the procedures involved in a COHAT (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) plan with you when dental care is needed. Most often, this will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the procedures, which may include doing:

  • Pre-Operative Lab Work
  • IV Catheterization
  • General Anesthesia
  • Teeth Cleaning and Polishing
  • Periodontal Probing
  • Dental Charting
  • Dental X-Rays
  • Extractions when indicated
  • Periodontic Procedures

Upon discharge, the veterinary team will review any instructions pertaining to post-dental medications, special feeding instructions, and when to resume home dental care. Your pet will thank you for remembering to take care of his or her mouth, and live a longer and happier life as a result.

To learn more about home dental care products, please visit

Roanoke Animal Hospital can perform advanced dental procedures including:

  • Endodontic procedures (root canals) in single-rooted teeth
  • Advanced periodontal therapy including Periodontic procedures (root planing) and periceutic therapies (drug therapy used in periodontal disease)
  • Oral Surgery & Fracture Repair
  • Complicated Extractions
  • Gingivectomy
  • Gingival mass removal
  • Bonded Sealants
  • Restorations for Disease
  • Cavities

Advanced Dentistry & Root Canals

At Roanoke Animal Hospital, our staff and veterinarians are trained to educate and perform a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT) plan.

Dental cleaning and assessment procedures (COHAT), including routine dental care services, are imperative to your pet’s overall health and wellness.

If significant periodontal disease, tooth fractures or other conditions are present, treatment will involve a day at the veterinary hospital to plan and perform the dental procedure under general anesthesia. When professional dental care is indicated, our staff is knowledgeable and experienced in providing safe anesthesia to ensure your pet is in good hands.

While under anesthesia, dental X-rays are performed, which can identify problems below the root. With x-rays, our staff may find that periodontal disease or other conditions have damaged the teeth. Although in these cases extraction may be recommended, sometimes other options are available to treat and save your pet’s teeth.

Contact us today to schedule your pet’s oral exam to establish their COHAT plan. Your pet will thank you!

Book an Appointment

If your pet is sick and needs to be seen within the next 48 hours, please call or text our hospital at 540-343-8021 to speak directly to a team member.