Proposed law would permit dental therapists to work under supervision

Health

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts is one of several states looking to expand dental care with dental therapists.

Dental therapists are dental hygienists who have completed additional training in order to deliver basic but critically necessary care such as filling cavities, placing temporary crowns, and extracting loose teeth.

The proposal would require therapists to attain a Master’s degree and temporarily work under a dentist’s supervision. The Massachusetts chapter of the American Dental Association has supported the legislation.

However, many dentists argue that dental therapists lack the education and experience needed to pull teeth.

Nearly 58 million Americans struggle to afford to make a trip to dental appointments. Similar bills are also pending in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Washington.

Nevada, Connecticut, Michigan, and New Mexico have passed laws allowing dental therapists since December.

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