Tens of millions Americans lack access to regular dental care. To address barriers to care, the dental team has been expanded to include different types of providers in Minnesota, Alaska, and California. The concept is similar to using physician assistants and other practitioners in the medical field. These mid-level dental providers perform preventive and routine restorative care. In Alaska and Minnesota, for instance, dental therapists can fill cavities. In California, dental hygienists with an advanced license can do temporary fillings. These providers work in a variety of settings, including private dental offices, community and tribal health clinics, schools and nursing homes. All work under the supervision of a dentist.
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