There are ways for dogs to receive dental cleaning without anesthesia through nonanesthesia dental scaling referred to as NAD or NADS, according to the American Veterinary Dental College. The procedure involves scaling the dog's teeth, which providers do by scraping the dog's teeth with a dental instrument.
Veterinarians are divided over whether or not nonanesthesia dental scaling is an acceptable alternative to anesthesia dental cleanings for dogs, reports the New York Post. Nonanesthesia dental scaling works to remove tartar and plaque on the tooth; however, it does not involve cleaning underneath the dog's gumline, according to the American Veterinary Dental College. This means that dogs with bacteria under the gumline are still vulnerable to periodontal disease, which can damage bone structure, teeth and the roots of the teeth.