Does expanding a hygienist’s scope of practice translate to improved oral healthcare at the state level? Researchers from New York believe it does, according to the results of a survey published this month in Health Affairs. With the debates about dental therapists and dental telemedicine ongoing, researchers from the University at Albany in New York updated a previous study to investigate if hygienists with an expanded practice options could reduce the oral disease burden. “Scope of practice for dental hygienists … had a positive and significant association with having no teeth removed because of decay or disease,” wrote lead study author Margaret Langelier and colleagues (Health Affairs, December 2016, Vol. 35:12, pp. 2207-2215).