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Massachusetts reconsiders licensing dental therapists: 5 things to know

After spending years at odds, representatives supporting dentists and dental hygienists in Massachusetts are backing a bill to licensing dental therapists, according to The Heartland Institute.

Here are five things to know:

1. The new law would allow dental therapists who meet Commission on Dental Accreditation standards to provide oral health services, including cleanings and nonsurgical care with the supervision of a licensed dentist.

2. Typically dentists and hygienists have been wary of the bill. However, after a year of negotiation both groups of professionals support senate bill 1169.

3. Joint Committee on Public Health Chair State Rep. Kate Hogan, D, believes the bill will reduce dental costs for residents in the state.

4. Additionally, the bill is aimed at helping disabled people get access to dental care. Currently, Massachusetts does not have enough dentists trained to treat disabled residents.

5. Massachusetts representatives hope a final bill will be passed by 2020.

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