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Expanding use of dental hygienists continues to be a state-by-state battle

In some cases, struggles over restrictions in state dental practice acts have pitted dental hygiene and health advocacy groups against state dental boards and professional organizations representing dentists.

In a few significant cases, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), under its charge to protect the health care marketplace from unfair competition and to ensure consumer access to care, has supported easing restrictions.

The FTC offers some comments on the topic in a new Pew policy brief.

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