ME AGD's View on ME Legislative Attempts to Dilute The Standard of Dental Care in Maine
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In recent years, the Maine State Legislature has made decisions to downgrade the educational requirements for people who want to practice dentistry on you and your family. The Maine Academy of General Dentistry, along with other organizations involved in oral health care, have tried exhaustively to inform our state leaders about the reasons that we oppose allowing minimally-trained personnel to perform irreversible procedures on the general public.
We strongly feel that the only professional who should be allowed to perform these types of procedures on you and your children, is a dentist. Your dentist has spent many years not only preparing and learning about the complex nature of your oral health but how it integrates to your overall well-being. Some dentists even continue their education to specialize in fields such as pediatric dentistry and oral surgery. The ME AGD disagrees with the fact that the state legislature would be willing to transfer the care into the hands dental hygienists or dental therapists, who do not have the same level of training or knowledge to comprehensively treat the citizens of Maine.
The Maine Academy of General Dentistry intends to reach out to the public and inform them that there is a significant difference between a dental therapist, independent dental hygienist, public health hygienist, registered dental hygienist and your dentist. We feel that one is qualified, has spent the time and money and dedication to becoming a dentist: a physician of your mouth, while the others are seeking to act as dentists through legislation and not education.
Who would you rather see? Talk to your legislator. Tell them you donʼt want less-trained individuals extracting or filling teeth or doing anything irreversible on you or your family. Donʼt allow people outside the dental profession to change the educational requirements that the dental profession had taken years to create in order to provide the best dental care in the world. Donʼt let “big money” from outside the state of Maine come here and use it to convince the legislature and some in the dental community that licensing lesser trained individuals to provide dentistry to our public will save money, be just as good and help to get people to the dentist. We donʼt see that this is the case. It has not worked anywhere else. We have no reason to believe that it will work in Maine.
This message has been brought to you by the Maine Academy of General Dentistry