Maine’s Independent Dental Hygienists May Fill a Void, But Not a Cavity

Portland Press Herald

…A decade ago, it would have been impossible for Fichthorne to offer her services without the supervision of a dentist. But in 2008, Maine passed a law allowing hygienists who have obtained a special type of license to work independently.

Since then, the number of licensed, independent practice dental hygienists, or IPDHs, in Maine has inched upward. In 2012, there were at least 37 in the state – compared with 1,196 hygienists who had a traditional license requiring them to work under the supervision of a dentist – according to a report by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany State University of New York.

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