Knox County Tennessee

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

For Parents

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.

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.

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.

Silver Diamine Fluoride is a liquid placed on a cavity that kills bacteria and strengthens that part of the tooth. It will harden the cavity to keep it from getting bigger and may also help with any pain related to the cavity. Using SDF allows time for treatment to occur, without the cavity growing. The Tennessee Department of Health's School-Based Dental Prevention Program will be offering this service at your child's school at NO cost.

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.

For Faculty and Staff

We are contracted to work with elementary and middle schools with Title 1 eligibility. Every child in the school is eligible for the program regardless of household income.

This amount of time depends on how many children have signed up for the program and how many of those children need sealants and/or SDF applied to their teeth.

Completed and signed permission forms are necessary for a child to receive all preventive services offered by our program. We will accept forms until the school is complete. If a new form is needed, please download Consent for Preventive Dental Services (En Español), and send it home for the parent or guardian to complete. When the student returns it to school, give the permission form to the School-Based dental staff or the school secretary.

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, robo-call, school marquee, text messaging, social media, etc.).

Have Questions?
Call: 865-215-5555

Need to report a public
health emergency?

Call 865-215-5093

On the first Wednesday of every month, all KCHD offices and clinics are closed in the morning for staff in-service. On these days, the main location (140 Dameron Ave.) will open at 11 a.m. and the West Clinic (1028 Old Cedar Bluff) will open at 11:30 a.m.

Clinics will also open at 10:30 a.m. (Main location) and 11 a.m. (West Clinic) on the following Wednesdays: April 17 and July 17. All other offices will open at 8 a.m.