Welcome to the Department of Oral Health Services at the Knox County Health Department. We are committed to improving the oral health of our community realizing as former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once stated, "You’re not healthy without good oral health." Services are provided in a clinical setting and through our school-based preventive program.
Local Dentists Give Kids Something to Smile About
The word tooth ache is a misnomer. The intense pain caused by tooth decay or infection prompts most of us to seek immediate relief from a professional. But what if you’re only three years old? Unfortunately, thousands of children suffer from poor dental health and the consequences include poor eating habits, speech problems, low self-esteem and inability to concentrate on learning or playing activities. Unchecked Infection in tooth abscesses has even caused death in children. Low-income families are most affected, with 80 percent of tooth decay found in just 25 percent of children. more >>
Our clinical office, located on the second floor of the main Health Department, provides emergency care, routine dental services to qualified (see below) Knox County residents. The dental clinic is open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Knox County TennCare Dental Insurance recipients (age up to 21st birthday) may call the Dental Clinic at 215-5110 directly to schedule appointments.
All others (adult and children) must be qualified through the Health Department's Social Services Department at 215-5400 before scheduling an appointment in the dental clinic. Proof of income and Knox County residence is required.
Emergency Dental Care
Emergency care is provided to residents of all ages residing in Knox County and who meet certain income guidelines. Emergency care for relief of pain generally consists of extractions. Patients are offered the opportunity to seek services from the private dental community if less invasive procedures are an option. There is a $5.00 administrative fee for each visit.
Routine Dental Services
Routine dental services are provided to Knox County residents until their 21 st birthday. Services are provided on a sliding fee scale based on family income. Fees may slide to zero pay for qualifying low income. TennCare dental insurance is accepted with no charge to the patient/parent.
Routine services include dental cleanings, x-rays, oral hygiene instruction, fluoride treatments, sealants and fillings for both the primary and permanent dentition. Other dental procedures offered on a limited basis include root canal treatment on adult anterior teeth, space maintainers and stainless steel crowns.
School-based services program provide preventive dental sealants, oral hygiene education, dental screening and referral to private dentists as appropriate. These services are offered free of charge to all children in grades K – 5 at selected schools. Schools are selected based on the percentage of students at the school receiving free and reduced lunches. Schools with greater than 50 percent (50%) of students receiving free lunches can be selected for the program.
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- Sports and Dental Injuries – Fact Sheet