Dr. Mark Bentley celebrates 50 years in dentistry


By Carly Rose

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TROY — Excellence in Dentistry and members of the community helped Dr. Mark Bentley celebrate 50 years of practicing as a dentist on Thursday, July 11.

Bentley, a Martins Ferry, Ohio native, began his career in dentistry on July 15, 1974. He studied at The Ohio State University in Columbus and at West Virginia Dental School where he received his dental degree. Bentley now resides in Piqua.

“I’m so blessed and grateful to be here today,” said Bentley at a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating his career on Thursday. “I am very proud to be part of it; it’s been a wonderful, wonderful journey. I can’t thank you all enough.”

Bentley made Troy his home after meeting his future wife Linda, a Troy native, while studying at The Ohio State University, where they decided to return to her hometown to open his first practice. Mark and Linda share daughter Megan together, and one grandchild.

“I strive to take many more hours of continuing education, and to never stop learning,” said Dr. Bentley.

Although Bentley enjoys his time at home and traveling with his wife, he doesn’t see retirement in his near future.

“Often I go to work and try to decide if I am working or just plain having fun,” said Bentley. “I’ve heard its said that one is very fortunate when your vocation becomes your vacation; I plan to work until I keel over in some patients lap. I hope it’s not yours.”

Bentley acquired the practice from Arlene Swinehart, widow of Dr. Ward Swinehart.

“I stepped right into his two-treatment-room office on Robinhood Lane, and started in mid-July of 1974 with patients who had been waiting for me to graduate and come to Troy,” he said.

Nearly everything has changed since he graduated from dental school in 1974, including improvements in dental material and equipment, as well as procedures such as dental implants, IV sedation, oral sedation, whitening, and painless anesthesia. To keep up with the changes and advancements in this field, Bentley has never stopped learning.

“My most serious hobby over the past 50 years has been continuing dental education, whether it is in clinical areas or in management. To retain my license, I strive to take more hours of continuing education that is required each year by the Ohio Dental Association,” said Bentley.

Since he first started his career, everything has changed, “especially when it comes to digital technology,” said Bentley.

Many of his patients have been with him since the very beginning, and he has gone on to work with many generations of patients.

“We have now treated the children and grandchildren of some of our patients,” said Bentley. “I am blessed to have that kind of trust in my hands.”

In 1983, Bentley moved his practice to a house that he and his wife converted into a dental office that included five treatment rooms. Then in 2001, he relocated Excellence in Dentistry to the current location on North Market Street after the new building’s construction was complete.

Bentley has a passion for photography and also spends a lot of time on his farm doing landscaping and woodworking. Over the years, he has traveled on nine mission trips to provide free dental treatment to some of the poorest areas of Jamaica.

Excellence in Dentistry, located at 1523 N. Market St. in Troy, offers the services of three dentists, and has a total of 38 employees. Excellence in Dentistry can be reached at 937-335-4630 or by visiting its website at https://www.dentistintroyohio.com/

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