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University of the Pacific

For underserved patients, hygienists treating cavities is something to smile about

For underserved patients, hygienists treating cavities is something to smile about

In her 16 years as a dental hygienist, Marlena Shore has witnessed countless examples of the painful cavities and toothaches afflicting people who can't afford to go to the dentist. "You see a huge amount of tooth decay," said Shore, who teaches dental hygiene at Cerritos College. "But you're helpless to do anything about it." That is changing with a new California law that authorizes dental hygienists to treat cavities without a dentist on site by placing low-cost, temporary fillings. Shore is one of the first dental hygienists in Southern California who will be certified to apply the fillings, called interim therapeutic restorations, under the law...

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