What Kind of Dental Crown Material is Best?

October 31, 2017
dental crown

A dental crown can be a wonderful way to restore a damaged tooth. Teeth may be damaged by large fillings with recurrent decay or even fractures. By reshaping the tooth after appropriate anesthesia, a new “cap” or “hat” may be fitted to the tooth.

cracked tooth

When the final crown is fabricated, it is customary to choose a material depending upon several factors including strength, esthetics, finances, and functionality. We will highlight differences in these crown materials below:

  • Strength- Gold is very strong but not as esthetic so it should be used only in the posterior if the patient elects. Zirconia is wonderful in terms of strength and esthetics and may be a better option.
  • Aesthetics- Porcelain fused to zirconia or E.max are wonderful materials for esthetic anterior crowns.
  • Finances- Many insurance plans dictate coverage for a porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown but that crown type may not always be in the persons best interest. For example, porcelain is very brittle and prone to fracture. If the patient has a hard diet or history of clenching/grinding their teeth, PFM may not be the best option for them.
  • Functionality- The marriage between aesthetics and strength may usually be found with zirconia, porcelain fused to zirconia or e.Max. All three materials are wonderful choices that help with the compromise between strength and esthetics.

Crown Options

As always if you have any questions about your treatment options or what dental crown is for you, feel free to give us a call! We enjoy providing outstanding dentistry in a comfortable environment for the fine folks of the bluegrass. We also offer free consultations about dental crowns if you have questions about if they are the right treatment choice for you or would just like a second opinion.

Halloween Tips from the Schroeders!

October 2, 2017

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog with some Halloween tips! As the temperature begins to drop and we see summer wind to a close, it’s important to review a few key elements of proper oral hygiene. From Halloween Candy to holiday treats, it’s easy to forget about healthy habits and we understand. Find below some Halloween tips about how you can maintain that beautiful smile this fall.

  1. Always avoid chewy or sticky candy!

Chewy and sticky candies commonly get stuck interproximally (between the teeth) or deep in the central groove of molars(see picture below). These sticky candies have a high sugar content and are the perfect food supply for decay-causing bacteria! The worst perpetrators here are tootsie rolls and sticky caramel treats!

tooth cavity

  1. Crunchy foods crack teeth!

Peanut brittle is the best example for crunchy holiday treats that will bite you back! Commonly, teeth with large fillings or underlying decay are prone to fractures from extreme pressure and temperature changes. Thus, we suggest avoiding hard crunchy treats so as to reduce the risk of fracture!

cracked tooth

  1. Speaking of cracks, be careful walking at night!

You probably wouldn’t believe how many trauma patients we see the day after Halloween! Children running, Halloween decorations and parents/grandparents with poor vision all lead to accidents! Please be careful making your way thru the yards with a flashlight and try to minimize running by children.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to give our office a ring! We provide a comfortable dental experience in a family environment that’s focused on you! In addition, evening, Saturday, and sedation appointments are available! Call today to schedule an initial cleaning or a free consultation at (859)276-5496!

Do I have TMJ?

August 1, 2017
TMJ disorders - TMD

Hello and welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We love providing the public more dental knowledge and this blog has done exactly that. Today we’ll be discussing the TMJ and risk factors, symptoms and suggested treatments for TMD.

“If you want to converse with me, first define your terms.”


What is TMJ? TMD?

First, a quick moment of clarification. The “TMJ” stands for the Temporomandibular Joint. If someone says they have “TMJ,” it is equivalent to saying “I have knee” or “I have an elbow.” Therefore, the correct reference to a poorly functioning jaw joint is referenced as “TMD.” TMD stands for Temporomandibular joint disorder and lets the dentist/listener know that your jaw joint is working incorrectly or causing pain.


What are the risk factors associated with TMD?

Next, I’d like to discuss some common risk factors, symptoms and treatment suggestions. Although there are many risk factors associated with TMD, the most common are listed below:

  • Excessive bruxism (teeth grinding) or clenching which puts too much pressure on the joint. Do you think your knees would be happy squatting over 1,000 pounds in the gym?
  • Stress from work or life causing clenching.
  • Arthritis or other systemic joint issues that are related to excessive inflammation.
  • Abnormal amounts of elastic tissue. This is most commonly seen in females starting at age 14 during puberty. The elastic tissue on the most posterior portion of the joint may allow the joint to partially dislocate and/or function abnormally.

What are the Symptoms of TMD?

Not sure if you need to be seen by a dentist or specialist for your jaw issues? Some common symptoms are listed below but the biggest thing to keep in mind is to attack the issue early before chronic inflammation begins inside the joint. Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Popping, clicking or grating noises upon opening or closing of the mouth.
  • Painful or locking opening of the mouth during chewing (mastication).
  • Painful or locking closing of the mouth during chewing or conversation.
  • Aching facial muscles or jaw area located next to the front of your ear. This pain may radiate down your neck and even affect your shoulders.

bite guard TMJ

Treatment for TMD / TMJ disorders

Lastly, we always suggest treatment early in the process to address any potential future discomfort. For example, during times of excessive pain in the area, treat the joint like you would a sprained ankle.

  • Ice should be applied to the area for 20 minutes of each hour for 3 hours.
  • Assuming no systemic conditions would limit consumption, take 2 ibuprofen with food immediately after pain.
  • Rest is key! Refrain from gum chewing, ice biting or any other excessive pressure on your jaw.
  • Biteguard do well to avoid excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth at night.
  • If symptoms persist, it is extremely important to seek medical attention from a dentist as soon as possible to make sure it does not become a chronic problem.

Thank you for checking out our blog post and remember, dentistry is not expensive but neglect is. Have a wonderful week and enjoy this summer!

Do I Need a Filling or Root Canal?

July 25, 2017

Do you need a filling or a root canal? We’ll try to answer that question in our latest blog post! Although we love to provide information to our patients, this information is simply to educate the public and in no way negates allowing a professional to make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. tooth decay - Do you need a filling or root canal?

Do you need a filling or root canal?

Commonly, decay starts on the chewing surface (occlusal surface) and has multiple stages prior to becoming “soft or sticky.” This progression commonly leads to more sensitivity in the tooth and provides a highway for the decay to approach the pulp. The decay progression through the enamel(white layer below) is based on several factors including but not limited to:

  • bacteria type and concentration,
  • available sugars via diet and acids released
  • the buffering potential of saliva

Next, the dentin layer (tan layer below) is softer by nature and contains cells called odontoblasts. Proceeding through the dentin layer, the decay encroaches upon the pulp and this is the point that commonly patients go from needing a filling to needing a root canal. Some common signs and symptoms associated with decay encroaching on the pulp include sleepless nights, obvious signs of infection like swelling or redness and sensitivity to hot/cold lasting over 15-30 seconds. tooth needs root canal Of course, this information in no way negates the need to have a professional take a look but we feel this information is helpful for patients who don’t understand the process taking place. As always, feel free to call us anytime to schedule an emergency treatment or a free consultation about getting a filling or root canal. Have a great week!

How to Prepare Your Teeth for a Wedding!

June 20, 2017

Hello all and welcome to our blog post about preparing your teeth for a wedding! This time of year we watch wedding season come into full swing and we are so excited to help our patients. It is common for brides and grooms to worry about having that perfect smile for their big day! Here at Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry, we completely understand your situation. Everyone wants a fairy-tale smile for their fairy-tale wedding day.

wedding smile

Below is a few tips and ideas on how to prepare for your own or others big day:

  • A normal hygiene routine is crucial in preparation for summer pictures. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice per day for two minutes. Also, it’s important to floss at minimum once per day.
  • Do you notice any coffee, tea or wine staining? At-home and in-office whitening treatments have become common place for patients. Call us for a free consultation at (859)276-5496 and we can give you a professional opinion on what treatment would be best for you. Commonly, a cleaning/polishing 1 month before the wedding day followed by an in-office whitening treatment can help patients attain a picture perfect smile.
  • Misaligned, crowded, or fractured teeth? More extensive treatment such as crowns, veneers and Invisalign/Clear Correct retainers may be needed. For this type of treatment it’s important to begin early. As far in advance as 6 months or a year before your big day or wedding season, I would suggest consulting with us about your smile goals. An easy way to remember this rule is when you are scheduling a venue for the wedding day, it is also time to schedule a dental consultation.

Have any questions or specific concerns? Give us a call anytime! We’re here to help make your special day a little extra special!

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

May 9, 2017

Welcome back to the blog and hope you are having a wonderful spring! Tooth sensitivity is experienced by more than 1 in 4 people nationwide. Hot coffee, cold water, or a chilly breeze shouldn’t evoke fear or pain out of you! Let’s discuss potential causes and accepted treatments for excessively sensitive teeth.

Common causes of tooth sensitivity

  • Receding gums- excessive clinching or aggressive brushing can move the gum margin away from the crown of the tooth. Exposed root surface is the culprit here.  gum recession - tooth sensitivity
  • Decayed teeth- Areas that are difficult to brush or poor diet habits like excessive sugar intake could lead to “cavities”
  • Recent dental work- Due to the nature of dental work, it is common to have some sensitivity associated with teeth that have recently been adjusted or repaired.  cracked tooth - tooth sensitivity
  • Fractured Teeth- Fractures in teeth allow sugars and fluids of varying temperatures to proceed closer to the pulp inside the tooth. Anytime a foreign material comes close to the pulp canal in a tooth, sensitivity is to be expected.


Depending on the nature of the teeth sensitivity, a diagnosis and treatment plan can be made right here at Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. From “gum grafting” to improved oral hygiene habits, our team can inform you about your best options! Give your dentist in Lexington KY a call today and let’s figure out what we can do for you and your tooth sensitivity. We offer free consultations and Saturday appointments by calling (859)276-5496.

We Offer Saturday Dental Appointments!

April 5, 2017

Saturday dental appointments

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We take great pride in our outstanding reviews and providing a fear-free dental experience for our patients but we wondered what else we could do for this incredible community. Lexingtonians have supported us for over 37 years and we want to provide any service that could fulfill their dental needs.

Saturday dental appointments and late evening appointments for busy patients

Thus, we have added Saturday and late evening appointments to allow our busy patients time to get their dental work done without losing time away from their jobs or families. As you can see below, adding Saturday and late appointments has been a huge success for us and our patients. Whether it be Saturday appointments, sedation options, emergency dentistry or just a friendly staff, we will offer whatever it takes to provide for our amazing patients. For example, we stay open until 7:00 P.M. Monday thru Thursday and even offer Saturday appointments until 2:00 P.M. This allows our patients ample time to find an appointment that works for their schedule.


Are you looking for a dental home? If so, give your Saturday dentist in Lexington KY a call today to schedule an initial cleaning or even an appointment for emergency dentistry at (859)276-5496.

Dry mouth, tooth decay and dexterity issues in Baby Boomers!

March 8, 2017

Dr. Fred Schroeder and Dr. Thad Schroeder observe and diagnose many common oral health concerns within that unique population. As a service to our patients, we love to review common concerns and simple treatments that may be of use for Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers

Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (dry mouth) is an extremely common oral concern for those on a myriad of medications, have a history of systemic disorders, or are chronically dehydrated. Although salivary substitutes like Biotene may be of some help, we find a few lifestyle changes can help resolve many complaints. These lifestyle changes include taking regular sips of fluoridated water, chewing sugar-free gum and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and sugar consumption. Diuretics like caffeine and alcohol drastically reduce the bodies water volume which has a direct impact on saliva production!

Tooth decay

Cavities are 3x more likely to be diagnosed in those with chronic dry mouth. Furthermore, Saliva contains important minerals, enzymes, and buffers to fight decay-causing bacteria. Most importantly, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and following the lifestyle changes above must be followed to avoid future decay.

baby boomer toothbrush

Manual dexterity/Oral Hygiene

It can be difficult to watch friends and family lose manual dexterity or tremor with age. This does not necessarily mean their  oral health must wane as a consequence. Many of our patients find Waterpik’s to be extremely useful in lieu of flossing. Also, we suggest placing a tennis ball around the handle of your toothbrush if brushing becomes difficult as it does for many Baby Boomers. Find a picture above of the suggested augmentation.


As always, if you have questions or are in need of a cleaning, feel free to give us a call at (859) 276-5496! We love helping the Baby Boomers thru this most important time in their lives.

Do I Have Bad Breath?

March 6, 2017

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We love answering common questions as well as elucidating dental quandaries. We are commonly asked about the sources and treatments for bad breath. Although bad breath may sometimes be temporary, bad breath or halitosis may indicate more serious underlying issues.

We all want to make a good first impression and bad breath is not always the right foot forward. We have plenty of patients that are curious why they are stricken with a case of halitosis (bad breath). A multitude of reasons could exist but we’ll highlight in the list below some common etiologies.

  1. Dental Decay– Dental decay or “cavities” that contain active infection allow bacteria to produce gasses that are very potent. If dental decay is rampant, discoloration of the teeth may also be present as well as sensitivity and pain. It is important at this point to seek dental care as soon as possible. tooth decay - causes of bad breath
  2. Gingivitis or Periodontitis- Infections/inflammation of the gum or bone indicate poor oral health and potentially poor systemic health. Infections that are odoriferous arising from the gums or bone need evaluation by a dentist immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                              gingivitis - causes of bad breath
  3. Xerostomia (dry mouth)- One of the most common sources for halitosis is dehydration and/or poor saliva quantity or quality. When saliva isn’t flushing debris away from the oral cavity, bacteria in the throat and mouth take advantage of the acidic environment.
  4. Systemic Disorders- Acetone smell is associated with severe diabetes and a mousy smell is associated with liver failure! Of course, avoid jumping to conclusions but it is definitely a good idea to seek medical attention if you can smell these odors on the breath of a loved one.

As always, we encourage our patients to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, maintain a healthy vegetable-based diet and brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes after flossing! Have any questions? Give your dentist in Lexington KY a call at 859-276-5496 to learn more about avoiding bad breath!

To Floss or Not to Floss? Is That Really a Question?

February 22, 2017
dental floss

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry blog! It is truly a blessing to have so many patients interested in their oral hygiene recently after a New York Times article proclaimed that flossing may be of little or no use when attempting to prevent gum disease. As clinicians, we see the difference in patients that do floss or clean their teeth interproximally (between the teeth) with another device. We ALWAYS recommend flossing become a part of your daily routine!

dental floss

Although the traditional “C-Shaped” flossing method has proven beneficial in reducing interproximal plaque, we’ve also found the Waterpik water flosser to be exceptional at reducing plaque around lingual ortho wires, orthodontic brackets (braces), bridges (fixed partial dentures) and implant restorations. The Cocofloss video shows great execution of the “C-Shaped” flossing method we recommend:


Wondering what a Waterpik is and how it works? The Waterpik is another part of your home care regimen that can make it much easier to clean in tough to reach places. We do not suggest completely eliminating string floss from your nightly regimen but there have been research from Tufts University showing similar, and in some respects better, efficacy for cleansing the teeth.



The Waterpik comes with several tips to reach difficult areas as well as multiple pressure settings. We suggest beginning at the lowest setting for two weeks and slowly increasing to about halfway thru the power settings. Be sure to place the tip in your mouth before turning on and placing your head over the sink! This will allow your gums to adapt to the new physical insult while improving your oral hygiene. The Waterpik can be most handy around implants, bridges, and orthodontic brackets.

Have questions about using a Waterpik? Feel free to make an appointment and discuss a potentially new weapon in your oral hygiene arsenal with your dentists in Lexington KY, Dr. Fred or Dr. Thad today! Have a great week Lexington!



Schroeder Cosmetic & Family Dentist in Lexington, Kentucky

2401 Regency Rd #202, Lexington, KY 40503

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