Mark and Toni first meet, ironically, in a dental Portacabin come surgery, on the island of Whalsay in Shetland in 1985. Their collaborative journey began there and continues today in Nelson, New Zealand. Mark began his dental journey in 1982 after leaving college. He embarked on a dental technician career but was more inclined to leave the nest and flight onto pastures new. The RAF allowed him an almost immediate career move to Dental Assistant and was soon working in the RAF London Dental Centre in Harley Street. When asked (ordered) whether he’d like an overseas posting the three options given didn’t sound so exotic but strangely enough Shetland sounded the picked of the bunch. Hence he met Toni on an outer island whilst working between many and started working with inspiring and motivational dentists. Malcolm Thomas and Brent Weller take a bow.
Onwards to the UK and married life. RAF Halton, headquarters training all things dentistry beckoned and in 1988 Mark graduated and was immediately posted to RAF Gatow, Berlin where again, inspired by my leaders, Martin Mayhew take a bow, I was awarded a C in C’s commendation for work in educating the children at the units schools in dental health. Unbeknownst to me I was selected to work in Moscow on leaving Germany and continued my learning journey and collaborations for several years there, Scotland and Cyprus, yes, I do get around. A big thanks to Neil Millington. The immense Gentleman in the top right picture, other was my Station Commander who unbeknownst to us both at the time wasn’t to be the only liaison we had together as he become the Defence attaché to the British Embassy in Moscow and a colleague of some repute. He is one of my unsung heroes.
As the age of BritPop was at It’s zenith in the mid 90’s Toni and I made the decision that with three young children, a career request from Toni and my sense of the RAF journey coming to a disrupting point for the family it was time to move on. We left the military lifestyle and moved into Civi Street. I guess the road there was tricky not knowing the system and failing into many a professional quagmire moving to many practices , great and small, until eventually the realisation that when Toni completed her midwifery training the opportunity to emigrate to New Zealand offered us all a better life.
New Zealand dentistry was and still is a little primitive to an extent but there are pockets of proactive and free/forward thinking professionals scattered around. Timing, good lucky, local knowledge and networking mixed with a degree of calculated risk taking has finally brought me to where I want to be for the rest of my clinical career in Nelson. More of that and my recent learning journey later. Suffice to say it has had many ups and many downs and would, I feel, upon reflection make a fascinating read for the profession. I only hope I would do it justice. One day, perhaps just before retiring for obvious reasons.
MARK CHRISTOPHER JAMES
12 Argosy Place
NZ GDC registration number DH0401
“A globally experienced, flexible and highly skilled clinician providing quality evidence guided and modern hygiene treatment focused on gentle client centred care, behaviour change and promoting dental health and wellbeing.”
• Periodontal and caries risk assessment and management.
• Maintenance therapy – within an effective, ethical and evidence guided recall system.
• Minimally invasive approach using primarily oral health facilitation and gentle hand, piezo and airflow instrumentation.
EXPERIENCE DENTAL HYGIENIST – Toothsmart – part of Marlborough Holistic Health
2014-2019 Private Practice, Blenheim, New Zealand
• Trained in Switzerland as an EMS Swiss Dental Academy Trainer 2014.
• Quarterly presentations to St. Mark’s Addiction Services on Positive Dental Health Promotion.
• Presented 2 oral health Action Research Projects to Professional audiences in Napier, Nelson and Auckland as verifiable CPD.
• Annual ongoing Action Research/ Enquiry Learning undertaken into workplace learning and professional development.
2013-2014 Private Practice, Wellington, New Zealand
• Clinical lead hygienist and mentor between practices in central Wellington and Lower Hutt.
2009-2013 Estetica, Horsley and Cheam Dental Private Practices, Surrey, UK
• Key Opinion leader and Level 3 Mentorship for Philips Sonicare.
• Evidence based peer reviewed dental health promotional articles written for dental professional publications.
• Evidence based dental health presentations delivered to national, local and professional and academic audiences.
2006-2009 Private Aesthetic Practice, Weybridge, UK
• Completed aesthetic advantage courses in New York, USA 2007.
2003 – 2006 Private Practices, Whangarei, New Zealand
1997 – 2003 Private Practices, Stoke on Trent, Stafford and Leicester, UK
1988 – 1997 Royal Air Force
• Mentioned in Dispatches for outstanding service to UK community dental health education delivered to all child age groups in West Berlin.
• Seconded to the Foreign Office for employment at the British Embassy, Moscow.
• Produced and utilised dental health education materials for use in schools and with community groups in Germany and Cyprus.
• Level 3 Study O’Hehir University – BSc in Dental Health Studies 2013.
• Level 3 Mentorship Module from the University of Surrey 2011.
• Five FGDP (UK) Key Skills in Primary Dental Care completed 2009.
• 1988 Diploma in Dental Health. Institute of Dental Health and Training, RAF Halton.
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