Dr. Cynthia Carter retires after 35 years, Dr. Houston excited to serve new patients at JH Dentistry

We got an opportunity to meet the new dentist, Dr. James Houston, who purchased and took ownership of Dr. Cynthia Carter’s office in Lytle this summer.
Dr. Houston grew up in San Angelo and completed undergraduate studies at Abilene Christian University, earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Texas School of Dentistry, and owned his own private practice in Amarillo for over three decades. He is now in his 38th year of doing what he loves most–dentistry.
“I actually retired just a few years ago, but I really missed it!” Dr. Houston said with a smile, “When I saw Dr. Carter’s practice, I knew it was an excellent opportunity to come into a small practice with a great reputation. I love the staff here, the patients, and all the people we work with are just great.”
“Before I retired, I had huge practice up north, with 10 hygienists. This practice is much smaller and it’s a good change of pace. I am looking forward to slowing down a little. We are open only Monday thru Wednesday (and Thursdays if the schedule is full), and my house in just a few blocks away. It’s not a high pressure environment. I love being here.”
Dr. Houston and wife, Deborah, now reside in Lytle and are looking forward to being able to spend more time with family, as most of his kids and grandchildren live “between here and Austin.”
Dr. Houston has a passion for dentistry and helping others.
“I am a firm believer that one of the keys to good health and along life is to maintain healthy teeth, and they’ve proven that. People don’t always realize how critical dental health is to our overall health,” Dr. Houston said.
Dr. Houston talked a little about common problems that often go unrecognized.
“The main thing that causes tooth sensitivity is tooth brush abrasion. You should always use a brush with soft bristles and you shouldn’t ever brush from side to side [horizontally]. You should always brush in a circular motion.”
Another common misconception, Dr. Houston notes– “Some people think that you don’t have to maintain baby teeth because they are going to fall out anyway….but it can actually affect their adult teeth as well.”
If you’ve got a tooth ache, Dr. Houston reminds us why it’s important to stop in its tracks–sooner rather than later.
“People often have pangs in a tooth here and there and then all of a sudden it’s unbearable. At first maybe all you needed was a little sealant, and if you don’t take care of that, you may get a cavity. So then you need a filling, and if you don’t take care of that, maybe a corner of your tooth ends of breaking off. Then you need a crown, and if you don’t that care of that, then maybe you end up with nerve damage and need a root canal. If you don’t take care of that, you may end up needing implants or dentures. It’s a domino effect.”
But, don’t worry, pulling teeth is the last thing Dr. Houston wants to do.
“I will do extractions, but the last thing I want to do is pull a tooth. Hopefully we can address the problem before it gets to that point, or save the tooth with a root canal, but I know that’s not always possible. I know the needs of every patient are different,” Dr. Houston adds.
In his 38 years of dentistry, he’s seen many changes.
“As a kid, we used to brush our teeth with baking soda,” Dr. Houston says with a laugh. “When I first started dentistry, all the fillings were done with Amalgam (silver and mercury). Now they encourage you not to use that,” Dr. Houston said. “And now everyone wants a white filling. Back then, crowns used to be gold, whereas now we have porcelain and ceramics. Orthodontics has come a long way, and for the better. There’s been tremendous strides in all medicine.”
After serving the community for 35 years, Dr. Carter is transitioning into retirement and in a letter to her patients and the community she wrote, “I want you to know how much we appreciate your friendship, support, and trust of our practice over the past 35 years. After much consideration, I have made the difficult decision to announce my retirement. This decision is made easier by the factor that that I have found an excellent dentist to care for my patients….Dr. Houston has a passion for doing excellent dentistry and taking care of patients. That is why he is a great fit for our office and I can recommend him to you without reservation.”