Surgical Precision
Patients of The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics benefit from expert care in an atmosphere designed to make them feel like part of the family
by Debra Wallace

From the moment a patient steps through the doorway of The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics’ office in Northeast Philadelphia, they feel welcome, safe, like a family member. They also know they are in the highly capable hands of some of the area’s most gifted dental professionals.

Led by founder Robert A. Levine, D.D.S., FCPP, FISPPS, and partner Philip L. Fava II, D.M.D., MDSc, The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics specializes in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as the surgical placement of dental implants. The practice offers a number of state-of-art art innovations designed to deliver successful patient outcomes, including LANAP (laser-assisted new attachment procedure) surgical therapy for use in treating periodontitis and pinhole grafting for treating gum recession.

“Periodontics is a technical specialty of saving teeth and placing implants,” says Dr. Levine, who received certification in periodontology at the University of Pennsylvania. “Phil and I are plastic surgeons of the mouth, and we do extremely detailed and precise surgery.”

The team of 15 professionals supporting Drs. Levine and Fava has a keen understanding of the synergic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Together they offer the highest level of care and expertise in serving the practice’s core mission: to enhance each patient’s smile, both aesthetically and functionally, while improving their overall health and well-being.

Dr. Levine, who founded the practice in 1987, has become a clinician of local, national and international acclaim. From 1984 to 2003, he served as chairman of the Division of Periodontics at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and he previously taught at prestigious universities in the United States and abroad, including the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University. Today, besides seeing patients in his practice, he spends time working as a clinical professor in postgraduate periodontics and dental implantology at Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry and a clinical assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry.

In addition, Dr. Levine has earned a reputation for being a respected author and speaker. He serves on the editorial boards of numerous international scientific dental journals and has written more than 70 articles and four book chapters on periodontics, periodontal and regenerative surgical procedures, oral plastic surgery and dental implants.

Dr. Levine’s passion for providing cutting-edge, compassionate care is evident in his commitment to documentation. Since the day he opened the doors to the practice, he has painstakingly documented and photographed every case. Now, as a teacher and mentor of dentistry’s next generation, he is able to share his findings with the residents he instructs so that their patients might benefit from his expertise.

Speaking of dentistry’s next generation, Dr. Fava officially became a partner in The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics earlier this year. When Dr. Levine first met Dr. Fava and invited him to join the practice three years ago, Dr. Levine knew right away that he had found the perfect candidate to lead the practice into the future. Both doctors say it was kismet.

“My passion is to share what I’ve done and continue my legacy,” Dr. Levine explains. “Dr. Fava and I had instant chemistry from the day we met. He wanted a leading-edge practice, knew of our reputation and was also very involved in dental education. We are always on the same page.”

Growing up in a close-knit family on Long Island, N.Y., Dr. Fava learned his strong work ethic while working in the family scrap-metal business. The experience taught him lessons about exceeding expectations and the value of a full day’s work.

“I was really lucky to have had parents who taught me the lessons I needed for a happy life—putting others before yourself, self-discipline, and freedom in your work,” Dr. Fava says. “If you get that when you are young, you never lose sight of it.”

Dr. Fava had considered becoming a medical doctor, but he found the fit wasn’t quite right. Before heading to medical school, he spent some time with his orthodontist, where he had his “aha” moment: “It became clear to me that this is what I was called for—working with my hands, developing meaningful relationships, and running a team.”

Dr. Fava earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. He completed his specialty residency in periodontics and earned a Master’s in Dental Science at the University of Connecticut. During his time at UConn, Dr. Fava served as the chief resident, which he considered a great honor and responsibility. 

“My aim was always to go into or build a practice where I was going to put my all into caring for people, as opposed to only treating patients,” Dr. Fava says. “Providing uncompromising, optimal treatment was always a given. That is a direct outcome of excellent training, continued learning, documentation and team focus.  I believe that caring for people requires even more from you, and our practice is built for both.”

Considering their shared expertise and commitment to excellence, it’s no surprise that Drs. Levine and Fava have earned honors that include numerous “Top Dentists” awards, as published in respected publications such as Philadelphia magazine. Such earned accolades are reassuring, but patients in the doctors’ care know they stand to benefit from much more than award-winning dentistry.

“I am a people person, as is [Dr. Fava],” says Dr. Levine, “and we build strong, long-term relationships with our patients, many of whom we have been seeing for more than 30 years. We are all like family here. Spend even a minute at our practice and you get the feeling you are cared for and loved by everyone at the practice. It’s all about building relationships among the staff and the patients.”

The sense of family extends far beyond the practice’s four walls. Levine’s wife, Sheryl Radin, D.D.S., and their son, Ross Levine, D.D.M., are pediatric dentists in a practice in Yardley. Bari Levine, who is the daughter of Dr. Levine and Dr. Radin, is following in her family’s footsteps by working toward completing dental school at Temple. Also, four years ago Bari founded the nonprofit Growing Smiles Foundation, a student-run group of Temple-trained dentists and Temple dental students who share a desire to improve the oral health and overall well-being of orphans worldwide. The entire Levine family is intimately involved with the foundation. Recently they brought 17 dental students to an orphanage in Peru, where they provided free dental services to orphans who would not otherwise have had access to such care.

Although the family-like environment is an essential aspect of The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics, Dr. Fava knows patients come to the practice for one reason above all others: the expertise of skilled, board-certified surgeons who excel at providing exceptional results.

“We lead our team to expertly complete advanced procedures that make life-changing impacts on our patients,” he says. “That alone sets us into a very elite category, and it is a hallmark of our practice. However, having someone who is there for you in times of health and in times of need is invaluable. Ultimately, that is what we are here for.”

The Pennsylvania Center for Dental Implants and Periodontics
Einstein Center One, Suite 211-212
9880 Bustleton Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19115

The Growing Smiles Foundation

Photograph by Felicia Perretti