Dr. Benjamin Davis

Dean, Faculty of Dentistry


Ben Davis became dean of the Faculty of Dentistry in January 2018. He was appointed to a five-year term as dean after six months as acting dean and more than 20 years as a faculty member, researcher, and dental surgeon. During his time at Dalhousie, he served as division head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences for a decade and was appointed chair of the department in 2013.

Dr. Ben Davis’s passion for the faculty’s wide-ranging outreach programs and the importance of research will ensure that the Faculty continues to provide quality education while serving the community.

Read Dr. Davis' full profile

When Dr. Ben Davis became dean of the Faculty of Dentistry, it was a natural progression. In addition to performing the role of acting dean for six months prior to his appointment, Dr. Davis has 20 years of experience teaching in the Faculty, most recently as the chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences.

“I’m extremely proud to be named the Faculty’s 13th dean. I really see this is an opportunity to have a positive impact on the Faculty. The six months in the interim role made me appreciate just how much of an influence a dean has on the present state and future direction of a Faculty.”

His background in oral and maxillofacial surgery gives Dr. Davis a broad perspective of his new role, thanks to the interaction the specialty has with other health professionals. He hopes to use his appreciation for collaboration to further establish the Faculty’s role in interprofessional education.

“We have strong connections with many other faculties, including those outside the obvious health-related ones. There are so many opportunities for collaboration and simulation using the facilities available in the CHEB. We have a great sim lab here in the Dentistry Building for clinical care, but the CHEB offers simulation for teaching our students communication skills. I would like to see us integrate the simulation lab in the C3LR more fully into our students’ curriculum.”

Dr. Davis is also passionate about providing care to underserved populations. He’s proud of the work the Faculty does through its wide-ranging outreach programs and hopes to maintain and extend that work, with a focus on prevention.

“A significant percentage of Nova Scotian adults don’t have regular access to oral health care and 30% of elective OR time at the IWK is used to treat childhood caries and the effects of childhood caries. There’s a tremendous need for prevention and the provision of primary care.”

“I believe dental hygiene will have a huge role to play on the preventative front. I’m really pleased to see the evolution of their scope of practice and their growing independence from dentists. I think we will see dental hygienists have even more autonomy, similar to nurse practitioners, and take on much of the preventative oral care, particularly in communities without full-time dentists.”

This important work will be supported by the dental clinic renewal project, which wraps up during his first year as dean. The new clinic will enable students to learn the latest techniques with the latest equipment and ensure that more patients can receive care.

“This brand new, state-of-the-art clinic will allow us to provide enhanced care to marginalized and underserved populations. Providing outreach to marginalized populations is, and will continue to be, incredibly important.”

Dr. Davis is also looking forward to boosting the Faculty of Dentistry’s reputation for research.

“I want to support and have a bigger emphasis placed on research in this faculty. What I would probably be most proud of is attracting a research chair in dentistry. We’ve never had one. Whether it’s an endowed chair or an industrial research chair — this will be a focus for me.”

Above all, Dr. Davis wants to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and alumni alike all feel that they are a part of a collegial and caring community.

“I really want everyone to be proud to work here, to be respectful of their colleagues, the institution, and the students. I’m thankful to be able to interact with the students much more now that I am dean. They’re a wonderful group of young women and men and we’re incredibly lucky to have them as students.”

Quick facts

  • Graduate of Western University’s Doctor of Dental Surgery program
  • Completed his residency at the University of Toronto
  • Currently serving as the examiner in chief of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada
  • Keen cyclist who owns two cats and two dogs