AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Democratic-led Maine House gave initial approval to a bill Tuesday that would create a new category of dental hygienists, which supporters say would provide more people access to affordable dental care, according to Boston.com.
Lawmakers approved the bill on a 95-45 vote to establish a new license for dental hygiene therapists, who would be able to do some procedures like filling cavities and pulling teeth. Hygienists could become dental hygiene therapists after additional schooling, 1,000 clinical hours and an examination.
Proponents say Maine has a shortage of dentists, which means many residents, especially in rural areas, often go without proper dental care. The bill faces further votes in the House and Senate.
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