January 28

Maine House backs bill to license dental hygiene therapists

The new category of dental worker would be able to do procedures like fill cavities and pull teeth.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine lawmakers have endorsed a bill to allow a new category of dental hygienists to work in the state with the aim of expanding access to affordable dental care.

In a 101-39 vote Tuesday, the Democratic-controlled Legislature gave initial approval to the bill establishing a new license for dental hygiene therapists, which can do procedures like filling cavities and pulling teeth.

The bill was introduced last year and carried over to the new session. The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.

Supporters say Maine has a shortage of dentists, which means many residents in rural areas often go without proper dental care.

But critics say the problem is the inability of people to show up at appointments, not a lack of access.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)