LePage signs bill for dental hygiene therapists

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A bill creating a new level of dental hygienists in Maine will become law.

House Speaker Mark Eves' office said Monday that Gov. Paul LePage signed the Democrat from North Berwick's bill that establishes a new license for dental hygiene therapists.

They will be able to do procedures like filling cavities and pulling teeth. Dental hygienists can become dental hygiene therapists after schooling, clinical hours and an exam. They'll have to work under a dentists' supervision.

Eves says the bill will ensure that kids and seniors get the dental care they need in Maine, which faces a dentist shortage throughout much of the state.

Critics of the bill said the problem is not a lack of access to dental care, but peoples' inability to show up at appointments.

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