Maine dental hygienists may work separately from dentists

Dentists

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Dental hygienists in Maine and Colorado can operate independently from dentists, according to local NBC affiliate News Center Maine.

Rather than working in a private practice alongside a dentist, where job openings are limited, dental hygienists can obtain a special license to open their own practices. These dental hygienists can perform oral cancer screens, take X-rays and check for tooth decay along with providing routine cleanings and preventative care.

If patients need further care, the dental hygienist refers them to a dentist.

In Maine, there are around 20 independent dental hygiene practices. These practices are helping to combat the shortage of dentists in Maine, especially in rural areas, reports News Center Maine.

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