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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

For Parents

What is a sealant?

Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of back teeth in order to help prevent cavities.  Placing sealants on the teeth to prevent decay also saves time and money in the long run by avoiding fillings and crowns (caps) used to fix decayed teeth.  Sealants are painless and usually take 3-5 minutes per tooth to apply.  Sealants can last as long as 5-10 years, but should be checked regularly by your dentist.

How are teeth selected for dental sealants?

Sealants are designed to protect the chewing surface of back permanent teeth; a dentist or dental hygienist decides which teeth are healthy for sealant application.

Should I send in a permission form if my child has already had dental sealants?

Yes.  Your child may have grown in new permanent teeth that need dental sealants.  We also recheck sealants that have already been placed to see if they are in need of repair.

What is fluoride varnish and how is it used in the school dental program?

Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated dose of topical fluoride that is applied to all tooth surfaces after your child’s dental sealants are placed (if needed) by a registered dental hygienist.  It contains 5% sodium fluoride in a resin base.  Generally, fluoride varnish is painted on the teeth of a child at high risk for decay.  Varnish has been proven to adhere to each tooth surface for a longer period than other fluoride products.  Because it sticks to teeth, there is less chance of swallowing fluoride varnish.  It protects teeth from cavities and is helpful in slowing down early cavities your child may have developed. Your school nurse may contact you for her permission to do additional fluoride varnish applications throughout the school year as prescribed by the dentist.

For Faculty and Staff

How was my school chosen for the school based dental sealant program?

We are contracted to work with elementary schools whose population has 50% or greater free and reduced lunch status.  Every child in the school is eligible for the program regardless of household income.

How long will you be in our school?

This amount of time depends on how many children need sealants.  Once the dental screenings are completed we can offer an estimated time frame.

What are the yellow permission forms and when do I turn them in?

Completed and signed permission forms are necessary for a child to receive a sealant screening and sealants in our program.  We will accept forms until completing a school.  If a new form is needed, please download Consent for Preventive Dental Services, complete and give to school based dental staff or school secretary.

How can I inform parents of your program?

Once a date has been scheduled with your principal to begin a sealant program, we suggest you remind parents through your normal parental communication source (E-mail, phone tree, school marquee, text messaging, etc.).

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Main Clinic
140 Dameron Ave,
Knoxville, TN 37917

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

All health department clinics open at 12:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of the month.

405 Dante Road
Knoxville, TN 37918

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
(daily for lunch)

All health department clinics open at 12:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of the month.

1028 Old Cedar Bluff
Knoxville, TN 37923

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:30 pm

All health department clinics open at 12:30 p.m. on the 1st Wednesday of the month.

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