Forum focuses on expanding dental care in Maine

Posted March 08, 2012, at 12:18 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Some health care advocates and business leaders say Maine should allow dental therapists to perform some work to improve the oral health of state residents.

Proponents at a forum in Augusta on Wednesday said such a program would provide more access to dental care quickly and efficiently to more Mainers, especially children. Dental therapists would work under the supervision of a dentist and perform midlevel care.

They said there is a shortage of dentists in the state.

They plan to introduce a bill in the Legislature.

Not everyone agrees.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Augusta dentist Robert Berube said the state has plenty of dentists, 95 percent of whom are accepting more patients. He said the problem is persuading people to actually visit a dentist.

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