‘Paying the Price’ with James A. Vito, D.M.D.
When it comes to smile restorations, dental implant specialist Dr. James Vito believes patients who make decisions based on price rather than surgical skill risk a great deal
by Phil Gianficaro

The reality TV show “Botched” follows two respected plastic surgeons as they correct extreme surgeries gone wrong that were performed by other doctors. In many cases, the displeased patients chose their initial doctor based primarily on price rather than surgical competency. The results are often disastrous, with horrified patients left to seek correction for the botched procedures. The mistake causes the patients to spend twice as much money as they would have initially, had they selected the proper doctor to start.

James A. Vito, D.M.D., doesn’t need to watch “Botched” to get the gist of the show. He witnesses it first-hand in his office in Wayne.

“What our practice is beginning to focus on, and is developing a niche for, is seeing people who have gone to other dentists for advanced procedures but have not gotten the desired results they’re looking for,” Dr. Vito says. “As such, they end up in our office. I think the issue is people think a dentist is a dentist is a dentist. If a dentist says he or she does dental implants, the patient does not question what his or her credentials are. Most dentists learn their implant skills over the course of a weekend. Just because a dentist says they can do a procedure does not mean they can do it well. Part of the problem is people spend more time researching buying blue jeans than a health care provider.”

When patients do their research, they find Dr. Vito has the highest level of credentialing, skill and reputation. Dr. Vito was trained and certified in Periodontics and Periodontal Prosthesis-Fixed Prosthodontics at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, where his late father, Anthony, himself a dentist, taught and served as associate dean of clinical affairs.

In practice for more than 25 years, Dr. Vito is noted and recognized for his accomplishments in general, cosmetic and advanced restorative dentistry. As a periodontist, he diagnoses and treats gum disease. As a prosthodontist, he specializes in making replacements for missing teeth. These skills, Dr. Vito believes, assist him in the specialty of dental implants, where his skills can transform a life-hampering smile into a life-alternating one.

Dr. Vito is also an implant specialist trained in the surgical placement and restoration of dental implants. He holds three fellowships and is dual board certified in implant dentistry through the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI) and the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry. He is also certified as a Master in Implant Prosthodontics through the ICOI.

Dental implants are titanium substitutes for the missing natural roots of teeth. The implants are used in situations where there are not enough remaining natural teeth to support a fixed bridge restoration, or where the remaining natural teeth are compromised either through decay or periodontal disease.

After the placement of dental implants, a healing period of four to six months is necessary to allow for the fusion of the implant to the bone. Following the healing period, Dr. Vito is then able to restore dental implants as he would a natural tooth, with either single crowns or dental bridgework.

“Dr. Vito walks on water, he really does,” says Joan M., a resident of Norristown and one of Dr. Vito’s current patients. “My mouth was a mess from other dentists, so I had dental phobia like you wouldn’t believe. I was nervous and everything else. He fixed the problem. He’s absolutely wonderful.”

“Because there are varying skill sets with dentists, more and more issues are developing and patients are unhappy with the result of their implants and restorations.” Dr. Vito says. “Patients rely on a dentist being ethical and moral and to realize what their limitations are. But in today’s climate, some dentists are pushing the envelope more and more to make a living, and patients are paying the price.

“We have a patient who had all her teeth extracted by another dentist, had an upper and lower implant restoration and wasn’t happy,” he continues. “She had spent about $30,000. When she came to me, we had to start all over. I could not reuse anything with her existing restorations because there was nothing she liked about them. I took notes and listened to what she didn’t like about her restoration so I could create the restoration or smile she was looking for.”

Beverly Cataleno can relate. The 59-year-old resident of Media had intensive dental work performed by several other dentists, one after the other, as she couldn’t find satisfaction. She had crowns and bridges replaced, but there were problems involving form and function alike. Despite having spent a tremendous amount of money, she was less than pleased with the outcome.

Her due diligence ultimately led her to Dr. Vito’s door.

“He was amazing,” Cataleno says. “He spent two hours and took 35 pictures, looked at my whole health. Because there was so much bone loss, he suggested we do bone grafting and pull teeth and replace them with upper and lower implants.”

A year later the disappointing outcome from the other dentists is a distant memory.

“I know I made the right choice coming to Dr. Vito,” she says. “I will never let anyone else work on my teeth. Choosing him has been one of the best decisions of my life.”

In Dr. Vito’s office, his expertise, education and credentials, as well as the latest technology to assist in the proper planning and placement of each implant and the restoration, helps to ensure that everything is done right the first time.

One patient, who asked to be identified only as Christine from Jenkintown, knows the pain of regret all too well.

“I needed dental restoration work because of bad experiences with previous dentists,” says Christine. “There was damage that needed to be fixed; the other dentist wasn’t able to align my bite properly. One dentist made a mistake, then the next dentist tried to fix it but couldn’t. I went to a dentist I thought was a renowned dentist prior to seeing Dr. Vito, but he caused even more problems for me.

“So I took a chance on Dr. Vito, and I’m glad I did. In addition to his expertise, he was calming and reassuring. He is so committed to the outcome, and he’s always there if I need an adjustment or information. I just wish I had gone to him first.”

James A. Vito, D.M.D.
523 East Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087

Photograph by Jody Robinson