Local dentist heads society
Since graduating from Baylor Dental (now a part of A&M) school in Dallas in 1975, Mark Messer has brought quality dental care to Bridge City. He has also been a part of an organization that “strives to promote ethical dentistry and help patients.” Now, he’s the president of that organization, the Dental Society of Southeast Texas.
Covering eight counties, the group is comprised of approximately 160 dentists.
“I’m happy to be helping them, it’s a good organization,” said Messer.
The main project this year, is attempting to get a mobile van – a rolling dental office if you will – that belongs to the Texas Mission of Mercy, TMOM for short, scheduled to come to this area. TMOM offers free dental care for those who can’t afford it otherwise. The organization stays in large metropolitan areas, but the van is used to travel to smaller, under served communities. Messer will also be looking for volunteer dentists to provide dental care.
The new president is also involved with the planning of a major Texas Dental Association meeting, set for May 6-9 in San Antonio, next year. Approximately 13,000 dentist and hygienists will attend the event.
Messer decided on the dental profession while in the service. At the naval academy and as a service corpsman, he was around a lot of dentists. He soon realized, in dentistry, he could have both “a professional life and a family life. Most M.D.s don’t have a life,” he said.
The only other profession he even considered was that of an accountant. “I like dealing with people more than numbers,” he said. Ironically, County Commissioner Precinct 3 John Dubose, who just happens to be a certified public accountant, is his best friend. “We even vacation together.”
Since 1980, Messer’s practice, Advanced Dental, has been located at the corner of Texas Avenue and Roundbunch Road in Bridge City. “Before that, we were at the other end of town.”
“This building has been built and rebuilt several times,” said Messer, admitting that two of those rebuilds were due to hurricanes in the last few years.
Ike remodeling was completed and they moved back into their office the first part of April. The business operated out of a small portable building for a few months before that. “It was only big enough for one chair,” he said. It also accommodated a seat for Messer and a hygienist.
“I’ve got a lot of good patients… They are coming back.” He admits he has lost a little of his patient base from people that have moved after the storm.
He has slowed his pace a little, “I’m not working as hard as I used to, but I am still working as many days.” Messer also has another office in Jefferson County, with a young dentist he is mentoring.
The dentist has loved living here. “Bridge City is a good place to raise a family; I don’t think anywhere else could be a better place to live.”
Messer has been married to Rebeccah “Becky” Flagg from Groves for 41 years. The couple have three children, Marcy, Marlon and Jeremy. Kaden is their 6-year-old grandson.