Knox County School Based Dental Preventive ProgramLeft to Right: Carol Ann Shipley, DDS, MPH, Tiffany Thomas, RDA, Angela Kelly, RDH, Sarah Naill, RDH, Caitlin Carey, RDH. The "patient" is KCHD's Dental Director, Steve Keeton, DDS, MPH.
RDA is Registered Dental Assistant, RDH is Registered Dental Hygienist
Tooth decay (or cavities) is the most common chronic disease of childhood, yet it is largely a preventable disease. Tooth decay is more common than asthma and hay fever, and if left untreated, can cause abscesses, tooth loss, low self esteem, weight issues and even death in children. That’s why the Tennessee Department of Public Health is focusing efforts on primary prevention of the disease through the School Based Sealant Program.
The School Based Dental Preventive Program is supported by a grant from the Tennessee Department of Health and the Knox County Health Department. The program offers FREE preventive dental services to children in grades K-8 in the school setting. Services include oral health education, oral exams and screenings, referrals for care, follow up of immediate need, dental sealants, and fluoride varnish application, if needed. At the end of each school sealant project, data including number of students seen and services received is reported to the Tennessee Department of Health/Oral Health Services.
Schools with 50 percent or more of its enrolled students on free and reduced lunch are eligible for the program. A list of 2012-2013 target schools receiving dental services for this year is available.