Dr Mark Spencer was born in Sydney and attended Marist Brothers Eastwood until his admission to the Faculty of Dentistry in the University of Sydney in 1972. He followed in the footsteps of his father and his father’s father, who were also dental surgeons. During his time at university, he was awarded the title of “Dental Prosector in Anatomy” in 1973. He also had an interest in bio-medical science and spent some time in his holidays assisting in micro-biological research at the Sydney Dental Hospital.
Mark graduated Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) with second-class Honours in 1977. He graduated with three undergraduate prizes – in Periodontics, in Oral Surgery and in Regional Anaesthetics.
Between 1978 and 1980, Mark continued his interest in anatomy by demonstrating in anatomy dissection under Professor Barry Barker, a highly-respected intellectual in dentistry. He demonstrated in periodontics at the University of Sydney between 1982 and 1985. In current times, Mark has continued his interest in anatomy by assisting in the teaching of anatomy by dissection at the School of Rural Medicine at the University of Armidale. He started this in 2012 and is mainly involved with post-graduate medical and dental practitioners contemplating surgical or radiological careers.
In 1981, Dr Spencer was admitted by examination as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons. He was awarded with the F.G. Christensen Memorial Medal in 1978 for “Outstanding Proficiency at the Primary Examinations for Fellowship in the College.” The Primary Examinations cover the basic bio-medical sciences.
In 2004, Mark was admitted as a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, an international honour dental organisation.
In 2017, Mark was admitted as a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, an international honour dental organization.
Over the decades of his clinical career, Mark has maintained a continued interest in occlusal dysfunction and the relationship of occlusal disharmony to dysfunction and pathology of the jaw joints and associated muscles. He has done a considerable number of courses – here and overseas – related to this area of dentistry. He also attributes his interest, skills and knowledge in occlusal dysfunction to the time he spent as a young professional working with Dr Peter Kaleski in Sydney.
In more recent years, Mark has also been concentrating on implant dentistry and Cerec CAD/CAM dentistry, and undertaking the necessary post-graduate training to be competent in these areas. Mark is a periodic contributor to Dental Outlook magazine, providing articles of interest to busy practitioners on matters of practical dentistry.
In Mark’s other life, he has long been a dedicated underwater explorer and underwater photographer. This side-interest has been a good balancing activity to the intensity of dental practice. He has been published in many magazines, journals and books, including Australian Geographic, National Geographic and BBC Wildlife magazine. Mark led the first Australian expedition to Turkey’s Sea of Marmara in 1997/98 to bring back documented evidence of the Turkish discovery of Australia’s WW1 submarine AE2. He returned to Turkey in 2010 with much of his original team to this time assist maritime archaeologist Tim Smith in the documentation and surveying of the maritime heritage off Gallipoli – “Project Beneath Gallipoli”.
Currently, Mark has been taking golf lessons with his wife Becca, and learning some valuable life-lessons in playing this game. He has also just published his first book (his “magnum opus”) called “Ocean of Self”, which explores the relationship humans have with the sea and goes even “deeper” in examining the nature of consciousness itself. The book is currently available as an eBook and the printed version is planned for later-2017 or early 2018.