It’s precisely what you imagine:
A pet teeth cleaning without anesthesia that takes a 5-step approach:
Anesthetic dental cleanings are usually reserved for severe problems like periodontal disease (inflammation or infection that causes weakening or loss of support structures of the teeth) where sometimes teeth have to be extracted and the use of sedation is advised to avoid pain.
Depending on the treatment’s purpose, sometimes an anesthetic treatment is required; sometimes only a non-anesthetic treatment is.
Here’s a breakdown of when each one is needed: