February 11, 2015
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFGO-AM) North Dakota's Senate is considering a bill that would allow dental hygienists with advanced training to conduct certain procedures now done by dentists.
Supporters of the measure told the Senate Human Services Committee on Tuesday that the aim is to improve access to dental care in rural North Dakota and on American Indian reservations in the state.
Backers say 40 percent of North Dakota counties have one or fewer dentists.
The bill would create new positions called advanced practice dental hygienists. They would be supervised and employed by dentists but could work outside the office to reach underserved populations.
The North Dakota Dental Association and the state Board of Dental Examiners oppose the idea.