AUGUSTA (AP) — Dozens of dentists are expressing their opposition to a bill that supporters say would expand access to dental care in Maine.

The bill sponsored by North Berwick Democrat Mark Eves would establish a license for mid-level dental hygiene therapists to provide limited care. They would be allowed to pull teeth, place crowns, administer anesthesia and prescribe anti-inflammatories in consultation with a supervising dentist.

Eves says a lack of access to dental care in rural areas sends many people to emergency rooms, costing the state millions of dollars per year.

The Portland Press Herald ( ) reports about 100 dentists attended a hearing before the Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee on Thursday to oppose the bill. They say it is unnecessary and gives too much responsibility to the unqualified.

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