Leading From the Front
Known for going above and beyond for patients dealing with complex dental issues, Dr. James A. Vito strives to make a lasting difference for residents of the Main Line and much farther afield.
by Matt Cosentino

An ideal day off for Main Line periodontist and prosthodontist James A. Vito, D.M.D., allows him to tap into his creative side and do some drawing or writing, two of his favorite hobbies, or perhaps to just read a good book while relaxing in Avalon at the Jersey Shore. Of course, his urge to help people—one of the main reasons he got into dentistry in the first place—is never far from his mind.

Take one recent afternoon in which his Wayne practice was closed, but an emergency call came in from a woman in Harrisburg. Unlike many other offices, which encourage patients to visit the nearest ER in such circumstances, Dr. Vito understands that some problems require immediate intervention because dentistry, as well as medicine, is not a 9-to-5 job.
“The emergency number goes right through to my cell phone, so when people have a problem especially following a complicated dental or implant surgery, we can talk it through and then make a decision whether we have to get together or not,” Dr. Vito says. “In this situation, where the patient was coming from Harrisburg, I said, ‘You have a longer drive than I do. Do you feel that you need to see me today?’ She said yes, so we got together.”
Dr. Vito prides himself on delivering the pinnacle of high-quality care, which he
describes as “concierge dentistry” but without the concierge price.
“That goes a long way, and we enjoy doing a little bit extra,” he adds. “Being very service-oriented has served us well. It adds to the reason why people have no qualms recommending us to their friends and family. Providing peace of mind for patients is priceless.”
Dr. Vito has been providing this level of care since he started practice in 1987. Growing up as the son of a dentist who was also the associate dean of clinical affairs at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Vito always knew he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. Once he decided on dentistry as his career path, he strove to become the type of specialist who could handle the most complex cases.
Trained as a periodontist and prosthodontist, Dr. Vito has created an office that offers routine dental care as well as complicated and complex care. Sedation dentistry is offered as well.
“Because of my dad, I was exposed to what I affectionately call ‘the gods of dentistry,’ and I was able to go to their offices and experience what they did even before I went to dental school,” Dr. Vito says. “So I went to dental school knowing exactly what I wanted to do, what kind of practice I wanted to have, and the type of clientele I wanted to develop. I knew I wasn’t going to be content just doing drill-and-fill dentistry. Doing the complicated and complex dentistry appealed to me more.”
A product of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Vito went on to a one-year residency at the Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he received the Benjamin Lebby Award as the outstanding resident in his class. He received further training at Penn’s prestigious periodontal prosthesis program and his implant and surgical training at the Misch International Implant Institute.
“I was trained and mentored by the leaders in dentistry,” he says. “These are the clinicians who wrote the books, developed the techniques, and lectured throughout the world. They molded, influenced, and shaped me into the dentist I am today. They taught courses all over the world, so to be able to rub shoulders with them and chat with them was invaluable. I still call some of them today when I have a problem; it’s nice to be able to talk to one of the leaders in the world for dental implants and say, ‘I’ve got this problem, and here’s how I’m thinking of dealing with it. What do you think?’ These doctors still find the time to guide and shape me.”
Now Dr. Vito finds himself acting as the same kind of mentor for younger dentists.
“I try to pay it forward when I can,” he says. “The key part is never talking down to people, and I am cognizant of that in my practice when I see someone who’s come from another office and things have not gone particularly smoothly. I do not criticize or critique. Instead I say, ‘The previous dentist did their best and who knows why it didn’t work, but let’s put that behind us and move forward so that everybody ends up in a good place.’”
Dr. Vito’s knack for getting patients with serious issues back on track has earned him a stellar reputation throughout the Main Line and surrounding areas—and even across the country, which is why many people will drive long distances or even fly in to see him.
“When you are able to provide an excellent result in addition to restoring dental health, function, and appearance, then you have gained a patient’s trust and confidence forever,” he says. “Our patients have that much faith in both my office and me, they are willing to travel to ensure and maintain their results.    
“We can take them out of the jaws of despair, so to speak,” he continues, “and we’re able to repair, revitalize and give them back their smile, which then gives them their dignity and self-confidence back. It basically gives them a new lease on life.”
Of course, nothing gives him greater pleasure than helping someone in his own backyard. Dr. Vito always wanted to practice on the Main Line, where he grew up and attended the likes of Malvern Preparatory School, Friends’ Central School, and Villanova University. After starting his career in Princeton, New Jersey, he expanded to his current Wayne location in 2000. He is thrilled to serve an area he knows so well .
“I am both humbled and honored for being selected as one of Suburban Life’s ‘Men of the Year,’” says Dr. Vito. “It’s nice to see that my hard work and dedication has paid by being consistently recognized as one of the ‘Best of the Main Line,’ and now being honored as one of the Men of the Year.”
James A. Vito, D.M.D., DICOI, DABOI
523 E. Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
(610) 971-2590
Photo by Nina Lea Photography
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life, November 2023.