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The Journey Continues: Dr. Larry Molenda

Sunday, February 10, 2019

My journey with Dr. Larry Molenda goes back to 1989, when he assisted with the establishment of Redwood Baptist Mission and mission trips to Mexico.

Since then, I have seen his servant heart evidenced by countless pro bono appointments for dental work through pastoral referrals.

Dr. Molenda was raised in Houston, Texas, and educated at the University of Houston. In 1983, he earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery at University of Texas Health Science Center.

Dr. Fred Simmons, who now resides in San Marcos, was one of his professors.

“I enjoyed his expertise and quiet demeanor; as well as his bringing real world knowledge from his private practice to us dental students," Molenda said of Simmons. "In one of his continuing education lectures he stressed for us to not spend too much time in darkened rooms watching slides of dental greatness but to get out and spend time with our families.”

Molenda started his dental career in Houston, one year at NASA doing dentistry on all the military personnel stationed there,

"But every weekend I couldn’t wait to get out of town to wide open country spaces," Molenda said. "We moved to San Marcos in 1986 and started my practice on North LBJ.

He stayed there until moving to his present location on Stagecoach in 2002.

Molenda has a sense of humor, he calls himself a “tooth mechanic in one of the last surviving cottage industries.”On a plaque on his office wall is part of Psalms 81:10: “Open your mouth wide and I’ll fill it.”

Seeing his humor reflected, Molenda said “It can be taken out of context, being silly about going to the dentist, but in context, God will use our voices and he fills it with his words when we are doing his work.”

“On a serious note, the health of the mouth is very important. It has been repeatedly phrased that the mouth is a mirror to the rest of the body. Ongoing research is explaining that bacteria found in the mouth is part of the plaque removed from artery walls in heart blockages. For now, I stress to my patients that flossing is absolutely necessary. The analogy I use is this: Help me work on the motor of my pickup truck and get black slimy grease on their hands. When it is clean-up time, scrub with soap and a brush to clean up; but if they were to hold their fingers together while scrubbing their hands, when finished, there would still be black grease between their fingers; and our teeth are the same way; scrub only with a brush and nothing gets between the teeth. Get the floss in there daily to break up the bacteria and keep you mouth and your heart healthier with this practice.”

Serious about the care he shows his patients, Dr. Molenda is also serious about missions both local and foreign.

“I have been to Haiti and Kenya, providing dental care where care had been nonexistent.”

Mary Lynn and I are members of Oakwood Church. I hold Colossians 3 as a guide toward living life honoring to God. It has just about everything needed right there in that one chapter.”

The Molenda family includes 10 children – six boys and four girls, ranging in age from 35 to 13 – and three grandchildren, with one on the way.