Maine legislators sought to address these statistics:
- Maine faces a dental shortage in 15 of its 16 counties (approximately 180,000 residents). More than 62 percent of low-income children in the state went without access to dental care in 2011.
- Within the next five years 23 percent of dentists in Maine plan to retire, an additional 16.1 percent expect to reduce their hours. Forty percent of Maine’s practicing dentists are approaching retirement.
- Maine becomes the third state to allow dental therapists, following Alaska and Minnesota. Fifty-three nations, including Canada, Britain, and Australia allow dental therapists.