HALLOWELL — Maine is now home to a network of virtual dental services that supporters said would make dental care more readily available to children.

The practices are “virtual dental homes” in which children become patients with a dental practice but receive care in school and primary care settings, said Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree, a supporter of the method, on Wednesday. Services are delivered using telehealth technology, she said.

Dentists are then able to complete the exam and create a treatment plan if necessary.

Pingree said the model will remove barriers to dental care in Maine, which she said has a high number of children who don’t receive preventative dental care.

Pingree secured $650,000 in federal funding to facilitate the launch of the program. She said she is working with the Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine on the effort.

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