Dr. Ken Bentley Wins Canadian Dental Association Medal of Honour

Dr. Ken Bentley receiving the CDA Medal of Honour at the CDA Annual Meeting from Dr. Alastair Nicoll (CDA President).

Dr. Ken Bentley receiving the CDA Medal of Honour at the CDA Annual Meeting from Dr. Alastair Nicoll.
Photographer: Mr. Greg Teckles

Last month, at the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) General Annual Meeting, CDA members honoured the accomplishments of Dr. Kenneth (Ken) C. Bentley, former Dean of the McGill Faculty of Dentistry, with the CDA Medal of Honour. Described as the highest award conferred by the CDA, the Medal of Honour is given to “a dentist in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding service and professional achievement to the benefit of the dental profession, the dental community and society at large, and to which can be attributed significant change.” (CDA) Indeed, Dr. Bentley’s achievements are as many as they are significant.


Born in Montreal in 1935, Dr. Bentley earned his D.D.S. from McGill in 1958. He continued on to get his M.D.,C.M. in 1962 and had completed his postgraduate internship and surgical residency at the Montreal General Hospital by 1964. That same year, he moved to New York to begin his oral surgery residency, and became Bellevue Hospital’s Chief Resident in 1965.

In 1966, Dr. Bentley returned to McGill as Assistant Professor, and was named Director of the Department of Oral Surgery in 1967, a title which he retained until his retirement. Three years later, in 1970, he was the Montreal General Hospital’s dental surgeon-in-chief. In 1975, he became a full Professor, and was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry in 1977. It was he who inaugurated the graduate program in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In 1988, he was the first dentist in Canada to become head of the attending staff of a major teaching hospital when he was elected Chair of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Council of Physicians, Dentists and Pharmacists of the Montreal General Hospital.


During his active career, Dr. Bentley was a member of many professional associations, notably: the Association of Oral Surgeons of Quebec (Treasurer 1969-1970), Bellevue Society of Oral Surgeons, CDA (many Chairmanships and Committees), the Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (Secretary-Treasurer in 1970-1971, Chair of Dental Services in 1971-1972), the International Association for the Study of Pain, the International Association of Oral Surgeons, the Lafleur Reporting Society, the Montreal Dental Club (Secretary 1968; President, 1992), the Montreal Medico-Chirurgical Society, the National Dental Examining Board of Canada, and the Order of Dentists of Quebec.



Dr. Bentley also holds Fellowships in Pierre Fauchard Academy, the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists; an Honorary Fellowship in the Royal College of Dentists of Canada (1983); a Fellowship in the Academy of International Dentals Studies (1983); and an Honorary Membership in the W. F. Harrigan-Bellevue Oral Surgery Alumni Association (1983). He has received the Arnold K. Maislin Award from New York University (1984) and the Award of Merit of the Montreal General Hospital in 2008. He served as President of the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry (1974-1976).

He retired from McGill in 1998 as Professor Emeritus and stepped down as Dental Surgeon-in-Chief of the Montreal General Hospital in 2000.


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