Help Maine Meet Nationally Recognized Dental Standards

See All: access to health care

9 Feb 2016

Having access to the full range of health care women need throughout our lives includes preventative and routine dental care. But too many people in our state can’t access this important care. It’s an especially challenging issue for people living in rural Maine, those without transportation, and those who lack mobility—such as the elderly and disabled.

  • 31% of Mainers don’t have a dentist
  • Dental care is the most common unmet health treatment need in children
  • 15 of 16 Maine counties have federally designated shortage areas
  • 40% of dentists plan to retire or reduce their hours within the next five years

Right now, legislators are considering a bill that will align educational and supervision standards for Dental Hygiene Therapists (DHTs) with new, nationally-recognized guidelines. DHTs were established in 2014 to provide safety net clinics and private practice dentists a way to extend care to people who cannot get care across our state. We need your help to make this happen.

This bill would allow Dental Hygiene Therapists, under the supervision of a dentist, to provide routine oral health care to people in places where it isn’t readily available. It will make it easier for pregnant & postpartum women, children, and seniors to access this vital care.

Contact your legislators and encourage them to support LD 1514, “An Act to Conform Maine Law to the Requirements of the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation,” which will:

  • Align with Commission on Dental Accreditation’s (CODA) national accreditation standards;
  • Allow educational institutions to work with CODA to design curriculum and degree offerings;
  • Grants supervision authority exclusively to the supervising dentist; and
  • Establish reciprocity for DHTs trained in other states.

With your help, dentists across our state will be able to expand their care to more people in need.

Please go to www.dentalaccessforme.com, enter your zip code, and send your legislator an email today!

 

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