Reveal your healthiest smile.

General Dentistry for Healthy Individuals and Families at Howdy Dental

Dr. Elizoda and the entire Howdy Dental team are proud to help you reveal your healthiest smile through quality and compassionate general dentistry. With an emphasis on personalized guidance and care, we offer general family dentistry services that help you prevent and treat common oral health issues and reveal a smile that’s as strong as it is healthy.

  • Periodontal therapy
  • Root canal
  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Tooth extraction
  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Oral cancer screenings
  • Mouth guards
  • Night guards
  • Teeth whitening

What is general dentistry?

General dentistry provides the most fundamental dental services you need to keep your smile healthy and strong throughout your lifetime. The main goal of general dentistry is to prevent, diagnose, and treat common oral health issues, such as cavities, gum disease, tooth damage, and bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching). Through twice-annual visits and one-on-one guidance, a general dentist helps you prevent issues from happening in the first place and avoid the need for more extensive dental treatments in the future.


Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that treats irregularities in your teeth or bite.


Periodontal Therapy

When your gums are healthy, they securely hold your teeth in place all day, every day. Though your gums are impressively resilient, they can become infected or inflamed, increasing your risk of tooth loss and other undesirable health consequences.

If you know you have gum disease or are concerned that your gums aren’t as healthy as they could be, Dr. Elizondo and the Howdy Dental team offer periodontal therapy to alleviate symptoms, preserve your natural teeth, and reclaim your smile’s health and strength.

What is periodontal disease?

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Periodontal disease is typically caused by plaque that gathers along the gumline and hardens into a hard, crusty deposit known as tartar. Unless removed during a professional cleaning, tartar will constantly irritate your gum tissue and provoke the inflammation that causes gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease).

Unless treated, gingivitis will likely progress to an advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, forming “pockets” between your gums and the roots of your teeth. Food debris and bacteria get trapped in these pockets, which further damages your delicate periodontal tissues. Along with negatively affecting your smile’s appearance, periodontal disease can ultimately destroy the tissues that hold your teeth in place and result in lost teeth.

The number one cause of tooth loss in adults, periodontal disease is also associated with serious health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Potential Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed with brushing, flossing, or eating
  • Red, tender, swollen, or receding gums
  • Plaque or tartar buildup
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

Since the earliest stages of gum disease may not cause noticeable symptoms or discomfort, the best way to ensure your gums are healthy is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Elizondo.

Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal therapy can help you save your smile from damage and reclaim your oral health. Also known as scaling and root planing, periodontal therapy is a deep cleaning of your teeth and the pockets created by periodontal disease.

During scaling, your dental hygienist will carefully remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and the bottom of each pocket. After each pocket is cleaned and sanitized, your hygienist will smooth the surface of your visible teeth roots in a process called root planing. Combined, scaling and root planing prevent harmful bacterial growth and help your gums reattach to your teeth as they heal.

Scaling and root planing is typically performed under a local anesthetic and may be completed over more than one visit to promote the most comfortable experience.

Root Canal

A root canal is a simple and routine general dentistry treatment that can help you save a natural tooth that is severely damaged or decayed. Through gentle care and precise techniques, Dr. Elizondo and his team can use a root canal treatment to help you alleviate tooth pain, preserve your smile, and restore your oral and overall well-being.


Wisdom Teeth Removal (Extraction)

Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery that allows you or your teen to prevent long-term dental issues and pain. Dr. Elizondo uses advanced imaging and techniques to provide you with a safe and comfortable extraction experience.


Tooth Extraction

Removing a tooth that’s damaged or decayed beyond repair is the first step toward your healthiest smile. Through skillful extraction and comfort techniques, Dr. Elizondo and his team can remove a troublesome tooth and reestablish your oral health and total well-being.


Tooth-Colored Fillings

Throughout most of dentistry history, cavity treatment was finalized with an obvious silver-colored amalgam filling. Amalgam fillings are effective at treating cavities, though they don’t blend with your smile’s appearance and require more of your healthy tooth structure to be removed to make space for the filling.

Tooth-colored fillings, which are made of composite resin, allow you to treat cavities while maintaining your smile’s natural-looking aesthetic. Unlike amalgam, composite resin also bonds to your teeth, which means tooth-colored fillings require less of your healthy tooth structure to be removed during cavity treatment. Dr. Elizondo will use a shade of composite resin that completely blends with your natural teeth, so you won’t even be able to see your tooth-colored fillings after treatment.


“I really appreciate all the work they do in providing their patients with the absolute best care needed. I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”

• Connie Ybarra

Oral Cancer Screening

Over 51,000 Americans are diagnosed with cancer of the mouth (oral cancer) and throat (pharyngeal cancer) every year. Symptoms of oral cancer can be mild to non-existent, which means patients who have oral cancer aren’t likely to realize it.

Early detection of oral cancer by a trained healthcare professional is vital for the best treatment outcomes and highest survival rates. As your family’s primary oral healthcare provider, Dr. Elizondo is dedicated to providing you and your family with this potentially lifesaving screening as part of your routine dental visits and cleanings.

What causes oral cancer?

Though the cause for oral cancer isn’t always known, there are some factors that can increase your risk for oral cancer. Risk factors include smoking, tobacco use, poor nutrition, a weakened immune system, HPV (Human Papillomavirus) infection, and heavy drinking (two or more drinks a day for men and more than one drink a day for women). The risk of oral cancers is higher for people who both smoke and drink.

Night Guards

The health of your entire body depends on many factors, including good oral health and a good night’s sleep. If you grind or clench your teeth at night (known as sleep bruxism), you may be unknowingly damaging your teeth while getting poor quality sleep. If sleep bruxism is left untreated, your best oral and overall health can eventually suffer from otherwise preventable consequences.

Potential Signs of Sleep Bruxism
Grinding or clenching your teeth at night can cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Broken, cracked, chipped, or flattened teeth or dental restorations
  • Worn down tooth enamel
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Sore or tired muscles in the jaw, neck, or face
  • Sleep disruption (for you or your partner)
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joint
  • Painful chewing or yawning
  • Headaches

Night Guards for Sleep Bruxism

The cause of sleep bruxism isn’t always known, though it may be the result of untreated sleep apnea, stress, anxiety, or too much nicotine or caffeine. Along with managing stress, reducing stimulants, and talking with your doctor about sleep apnea, you can alleviate uncomfortable bruxism symptoms and protect your smile with a custom night guard from Howdy Dental.

A night guard is a simple dental appliance that is custom-made to comfortably fit inside your mouth while you sleep. Along with protecting your teeth and dental restorations from damage, regularly wearing a night guard can help you get a better night’s sleep and reduce stress overall.


“Very friendly and super professional. I really recommend this office. Dr. Octavio Elizondo, he is the best!!!”

• Diana Maurice

Mouth Guards

Like a healthy smile, participating in sports and recreational activities can benefit your teenager’s total well-being in so many ways. However, most sports and activities carry a risk for certain injuries. Dental injuries are the most common type of orofacial injury sustained during sports, especially if a mouth guard isn’t worn. In fact, athletes who don’t wear a mouth guard are up to 60 times more likely to damage their teeth.

You can help your teen avoid a painful dental injury and safely enjoy the sports and activities they love with a mouth guard that’s made just for them.

When should my teen wear a mouth guard?

During contact sports, a well-fitted and properly fabricated mouth guard cushions the jaw, protects all of the teeth, and stops the upper and lower teeth from being forced together upon an upward impact.

“Contact sports” can be understood as any activity during which your teen’s face may make contact with another player, a ball, a stick, or the ground, and can include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial Arts
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rugby
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Snowboarding
  • Volleyball
  • Wrestling

Mouth Guards in San Benito, Texas

A custom-made mouth guard provides the most comfortable and secure fit while allowing your teen to speak and breathe freely. Dr. Elizondo custom crafts each mouth guard from durable, odorless, and tasteless plastic that is easy for your teen to care for and clean. If your teen wears braces, Dr. Elizondo can mold the mouth guard around them.

With regular use, your teen’s custom mouth guard will significantly reduce their risk of experiencing dental injuries, including tooth damage, tooth loss, jaw fractures, and cuts on the inside of their lips and cheeks.

Teeth Whitening


Even with good oral hygiene habits, our teeth can become dull and discolored from drinking dark-colored beverages (like red wine and coffee), tobacco use, and as a natural part of aging.

Tooth enamel tends to thin with age, which reveals the darker layer of dentin underneath and makes your teeth more vulnerable to stains. While darkening or yellowing doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth are unhealthy, stained teeth can impact your self-confidence by detracting from your smile’s brightness and overall appearance.

Dr. Elizondo can help you eliminate stains and reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking smile with convenient, professional at-home whitening kits.

What’s the difference between OTC whitening kits and professional teeth whitening?

Over-the-counter (OTC) whitening strips, gels, and trays and professional teeth whitening both use peroxide to break down surface stains and lighten the shade of the tooth itself (known as extrinsic and intrinsic whitening, respectively). While both options are considered safe by the American Dental Association, OTC whitening kits lack professional oversight and are often used improperly. Misuse and overuse of OTC whitening products can lead to increased tooth sensitivity, dehydration, and demineralization, alongside destabilizing and discoloring any existing dental restorations. OTC whitening kits also run the risk of uneven results, as they’re not custom-made to fit your unique teeth and mouth.

Professional teeth whitening is one of the safest and most effective ways to whiten and brighten your smile. Along with providing you with personal support from Dr. Elizondo, at-home whitening uses prescription-strength whitening gels for the most dramatic results in the least amount of time. Before beginning any whitening treatment, Dr. Elizondo will also make sure your teeth and gums are healthy, far reducing your risk of undermining any dental restorations, exacerbating oral health issues, or intensifying tooth sensitivity.

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