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Int J Dent Hyg. 2004 Feb;2(1):36-9.

The collaborative practice of dental hygiene.

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Division of Dental Hygiene, 2320 Tucker NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA.


This paper discusses the collaborative practice of dental hygiene, primarily using examples from California and New Mexico. Several advantages are discussed, including an increased access to all populations and more respect for the field. The earliest roles of a dental hygienist reflect common components of a collaborative practice. Responsibilities of dental hygienists today as educators and preventive dental providers are also tied to this type of practice. Currently, few states in the USA allow such practices; however, benefits are discussed and the positive effects noted. Opposition to these practices exists, although the concerns have not been proven accurate. Collaborative dental hygiene practices are shown to be a positive avenue through which the population can gain access to noted provider shortages, as well as a rewarding option for the field of dental hygiene.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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