Meet Dr. Ian Matthew

Dr. Ian Matthew was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, while his father was serving in the British Army as a medical officer. In the 1970s, the Royal Air Force had many stations within a 50 mile radius of the family home, and Dr. Matthew acquired a fascination for a career in the Royal Air Force through observing military aircraft undertaking low-level manoeuvres in the skies over Nottinghamshire.

Dr. Matthew was accepted to Liverpool University to study dentistry in 1974. The lure of Liverpool as a city in which to study dentistry was largely because the Beatles had been there some 15 years earlier. However, the Dean of the dental school at the time, Prof. Sir Frank Lawton, had built a reputation for academic excellence at Liverpool dental school.

Four years later, Dr. Matthew was inducted as a cadet officer in the Dental Branch of the Royal Air Force, and on graduation in December 1979, he served as a dental officer for 5 years. His first posting was to the military college at Cranwell in Lincolnshire, some 40 miles from his family home. In 1981 he was to travel to Germany to serve for 3 years at RAF Laarbruch.

As part of training for the Cold War Dr. Matthew was sent to various military hospitals to acquire training in general anaesthesia. During the last 6 months of military service, Dr. Matthew successfully completed the primary Fellowship in Dental Surgery examination of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He was accepted as a senior house officer in oral surgery at Basildon Hospital in Essex, and gained considerable experience under the supervision of Mr. David Madan, consultant oral surgeon. Mr. Madan had himself trained under Sir William Kelsey-Fry, who was formative in pioneering the development of maxillofacial surgery.

In September 1985, Dr. Matthew was accepted as a registrar in oral surgery, serving under the wing of Prof. Hugh Edmondson. Facial trauma and head and neck pathology were two major preoccupations for Prof. Edmondson’s staff.

During his time as a registrar Dr. Matthew was able to work in various hospitals in the city of Birmingham, UK, including Birmingham General Hospital, East Birmingham hospital, Birmingham children’s hospital, the former Birmingham ENT hospital and Birmingham accident hospital. Later, he joined the on-call rotation at Selly Oak hospital, which is now the centre for military surgery in the United Kingdom.

In 1989, Dr. Matthew was appointed as a lecturer in oral surgery at Birmingham dental school. In December he was married to Amanda, whom he had met at the General Hospital.

Dr. Matthew was able to undertake a Masters degree in dental science by research which he completed in 1993. The research studied the efficacy of a new form of hemostatic dressing made from calcium alginate as a potential biomaterial to provide haemostasis in dental surgery. In 1998, Matthew completed a PhD by research, studying the tissue response to titanium and stainless steel implants used for jaw fracture fixation surgery. The same year, Dr. Matthew travelled to Worcester Royal infirmary twice-weekly to work under the supervision of Mr. Neil Barnard and Mr. Philip Earl, consultant oral maxillofacial surgeons. He remained on the staff at Birmingham dental school for 10 years.

In 1999, Dr. Matthew was recognised as a specialist in oral surgery by the General Dental Council of the United Kingdom, and he maintains his British license to this day. In March 1999 he traveled to Vancouver, B.C. for the International Association for Dental Research conference at Canada Place, where he presented his research findings from the PhD studies. During the conference he learnt of a vacancy on the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of British Columbia. He was invited for interview in May 1999, and was asked to take up the position as assistant professor in oral surgery and chair of the division of oral surgery. His appointment at the University of British Columbia commenced in September 1999.

A key component of his early work at UBC was clinical teaching of dental students and general practice residents at Vancouver General Hospital. He developed an outreach oral surgery educational facility in Queen Charlotte city, Haida Gwaii. Travelling on a regular basis to this clinic, he worked alongside colleagues and residents, providing specialist oral surgery care and graduate dental education. Dr. Matthew worked in private practice in Metrotown under the guidance of Dr. Larry Goldstein from 1999 to 2004. He also gained privileges at Burnaby General Hospital. Subsequently, he has gained privileges at Lions Gate hospital, St. Paul’s hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital.

Dr. Matthew is now practising in North Burnaby, close to Brentwood Mall. He remains dedicated to the dental students at UBC, providing theoretical and clinical education. He is a tenured faculty member. He has received awards for excellence in dental education at UBC, most notably two prestigious Killam teaching awards (in 2003 and 2013).

Dr. Matthew’s special clinical interests include implantology, jaw reconstruction prior to implants, management of facial trauma, dental surgical care of the medically compromised, and management of temporomandibular dysfunction.

Outside of work his chief interests are gardening, and photography. A keen hiker, he was incapacitated by a knee injury at the age of 16, requiring surgery in his early 20s. Despite this, he will be joining many thousands of people on the Ride to Conquer Cancer in June. He is also a supporter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of BC.


UBC; clinical teaching of dental students and general practice residents at Vancouver General Hospital.
Dr. Matthew has developed an outreach oral surgery educational facility in Queen Charlotte city, Haida Gwaii.


Awards for excellence in Dental Education at UBC; Killam teaching awards (in 2003 and 2013).


Member of CDA
Member of BCDA
Member of the Academy of General Dentistry