I am a general dentist, and my practice, Family Dental Practice, has served the Augusta community for more than 40 years. We accept all insurances, including MaineCare.

I oppose L.D. 1230 for several reasons.

The first is because of the limited amount of training that dental hygiene therapists would receive. There is a reason why dentists require as much training as we do. We take an oath: “To do no harm.” Expanding the scope of dental hygienists would be wrong because they are not trained anywhere near to the extent of a dentist.

Some people have compared a dental therapist to a nurse practitioner. This is akin to comparing apples to oranges. While nurse practitioners may diagnose, they do not do surgery. If the Legislature were to pass L.D. 1230, dental therapists would be allowed to do surgery on the public without the adequate and mandatory training that a dentist must have to do this job safely.

I accept MaineCare. It is my moral and professional obligation to help those who are in need of my services. There is nothing more rewarding than taking the pain away from a patient who has been suffering.

I fear L.D. 1230 would subject MaineCare patients to a lesser form of dentistry. In my experience, MaineCare patients often have a history that includes the lack of dental care and require a higher level of expertise.

If this bill passes, we will see the creation of a two-tiered system: quality dentistry for those who have insurance, and poor dental care for those with MaineCare or no insurance. That is not right.

I hope lawmakers in Augusta consider what sort of care they would choose for themselves and their families.

Dr. Sarah Rossignol

Family Dental Practice

Augusta

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