Mont. dentists, hygienists split on school sealant program

Dentists and hygienists in Montana are divided over who should be responsible for placing dental sealants in schoolchildren if a proposed bill passes, according to a story on

Montana is one of 11 states in the U.S. that does not provide free dental sealants to children in public schools. But the Montana Dental Hygienists' Association has proposed a bill that would allow hygienists to enter schools and place the sealants without a dentist.

The Montana Dental Association, however, would like the bill's language changed to require that a dentist be present.

The Montana Legislature's Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee agreed to carry the bill, stating the specifics could be worked out during session.

The federal healthcare reform bill provides funding for states that implement school sealant programs, and Montana legislators are hoping to access that funding to pay for the proposed program, according to the story.

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