A coalition in Maine is hoping to insert a new category of dental hygienists.
Dental Access for Me aims to provide affordable dental care for many more people in Maine. The group is looking to gain support of a bill that would create dental licenses for dental hygiene therapists, who would have the ability to perform some of the more routine dental procedures, like pulling teeth or filling cavities.
Dental hygienists advance to the level of dental hygiene therapists after schooling, 1,000 clinical hours and then taking an exam.
The bill is expected to be voted on when the Legislature of Maine comes back in January.
Numerous areas of Maine don’t have enough dentists to go around, which has created the need for dental hygiene therapists.
In the United States, Minnesota and Alaska are the other states that permit dental hygiene therapists. There are 53 other countries that allow these dental therapists to perform procedures normally done by dentists.