Top Dentists 2009

Main Line practitioners pick their favorites in nine categories.

The winners of the 2009 Top Dentists poll are below. For the rest of this year’s nominees, click here.

Photo by Shane McCauleyCosmetic Dentistry:
Dr. Jonathan Scharf

Pennsylvania Center for Cosmetic Dentistry and Exton Dental Health Group, 101 J.R. Thomas Drive, Exton; (610) 363-2300,

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Years in practice: 37

DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (1972).

The union of advanced dental art and science to create smiles that enhance a patient’s appearance and health while complementing their personality and lifestyle.

“I’ve been improving smiles for 37 years. I’ve seen a lot during that time, and as a result, it doesn’t take me that long to connect with what my patients need. I know the value of experience—and so do my patients.”

… “Minimally invasive techniques have simplified the pathway to a beautiful smile. Porcelain technology and computer-assisted fabrication continue to perfect the natural appearance and excellent fit of our restorations.”

… “In cosmetic dentistry, as in any other area of medicine or dentistry, it’s critical to make a wise choice when selecting your doctor. Credentials are important. Check with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry ( to see who in your area has achieved the highest level of credentialing. Ask to see pictures of smile makeovers the doctor has completed, and ask about the skill level of the laboratory technician that works with the doctor.”

… “I believe smiles and laughter really go together. Although we take smile design quite seriously, I’d like to think that I have a pretty good sense of humor. It makes the experience a lot more enjoyable for everyone.”

Orthodontics: Dr. Anthony Costa

800 Summit Grove Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 525-3008

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Years in practice: 16

DMD, Temple University School of Dentistry (1993); Certificate in Orthodontics, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.


“I’m dedicated to creating a perfect balance of health and beauty with every smile.”

… “My practice has recently introduced teen Invisalign, and we’re now offering self-ligating brackets as a treatment option to reduce time in braces.”

… “One of the largest misconceptions in orthodontics is that, once teeth are straightened, they’ll stay straight without retainers. Nighttime wear with a retainer, two to three nights weekly, will ensure the stability of results long-term.”

… “I take the time to educate my patients and their families on the importance of orthodontic treatment and their role in making treatment successful. The result is an exceptional quality of care and a truly unique experience.”

Periodontics: Dr. Steven Atlas

664 Exton Commons, Exton, (610) 524-2555,

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Years in practice: 19

Education: DMD, Temple University School of Dentistry (1990).

Specialty: Non-surgical and surgical periodontal therapies and dental implants.

Quotable: “Our practice incorporates the most current treatment options to restore periodontal health.”

… “Routine and preventative care is the best way to preserve a healthy dentition and reduce expensive treatment that could occur later in life.”

… “With new technologies, we have patients who are able to return to work the next day.”

… “I’d describe myself as a compassionate professional who helps with your concerns and offers treatment options.”

Continued on page 2 …

Photo by Shane McCauleyEndodontics: Dr. Samuel Kratchman

Exton Endodontics, 665 Exton Commons, Exton, (610) 524-1610; West Chester Endodontics, 606 E. Marshall St., Suite 204, West Chester, (610) 431-7025; Ardmore Endodontics, 702 Times Building, Ardmore, (610) 649-5235,

Years in practice:

DMD, Tufts University (1989); Certificate in Endodontics, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Root canal therapy and microsurgery relating to the tips of the roots (apicoectomies).

“Within the past year, we’ve implemented a series of irrigation techniques because studies show that, in addition to mechanically cleaning a root canal system, you must also chemically clean out the roots. There are some strong bugs (bacteria) that can live inside a root canal that are resistant to some medications and difficult to get to mechanically.”

… “We’re exploring different radiographic techniques, such as three-dimensional images of a root canal system. I’ve been learning about this at Penn and exploring the benefits of incorporating it into my private practice.”

… “The same answer applies every year: maintenance by your general dentist/periodontist to make sure you do not need my services (root canals) that often. Conditions that require root canals often happen quickly, not from neglect but as a result of teeth that have needed several restorations over the course of many years.”

… “You can have a root canal or a surgery without feeling pain. Patients don’t have to fear coming to our office.”

General Dentistry: Dr. Joseph Rava

Exton Dental Medicine Associates, 305 N. Pottstown Pike, Exton, (610) 363-6870; Malvern Dental Medicine Associates, 32 W. King St., Malvern, (610) 296-3770

Years in practice: 17

Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (1991).

Specialty: Comprehensive general dentistry care.

Quotable: “Our practice excels in the quality and caring of services we offer. We treat 2-year-olds to 98-year-olds, and the extra time we spend with our patients translates to referrals, which is primarily how our practice grows.”

… “We offer Invisalign orthodontic treatment for late adolescent through adult patients. It’s often coordinated with future cosmetic or reconstructive treatment.”

… “Aside from brushing and flossing, we recommend fluids and rinses often. The primary one is water; it’s the easiest way to re-hydrate. Additional rinses contain fluoride, anti-gingivitis agents and antibacterials. Most are over-the-counter, which makes it easy to supplement regular care.”

… “Whitening products can harm your teeth. But over-the-counter and office-prescribed whitening products are safe and highly effective if used as directed.”

… “I’m about as easygoing as you can get. It’s reflected throughout the staff.”

Photo by Shane McCauleyProsthodontics: Dr. David Kopecki

Exton Dental Health Group, 101 J.R. Thomas Drive, Exton; (610) 363-2300,

Years in practice: 18

Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (1990); Certificate in Prosthodontics, Temple University School of Dental Medicine.

Specialty: The functional and esthetic rehabilitation of the mouth, with a focus on cases exhibiting advanced and complex patterns of tooth loss.

Quotable: “We’re a comprehensive restorative practice that provides patients with contemporary alternatives. I’m different from many other practitioners because I’m a certified specialist in the field of advanced restorative dentistry.”

… “I’m now more routinely using CT scanning, along with some innovative software, to design restorations and plan implant placement. Computer-aided design allows me to “engineer” an implant-supported restoration so the proper number of implants are placed.”

… “Many patients come to my office because they don’t have healthy teeth at first. After establishing healthy teeth, I can’t emphasize enough that maintenance is the most important aspect. This applies to at-home care, regular checkups and cleanings for all case types, including those with complete dentures.”

Continued on page 3 …

Photo by Shane McCauleyOral and Maxillofacial Surgery:
Dr. Keith Silverstein

Main Line Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, 21 Industrial Blvd., Suite 100, Paoli, (610) 644-6497

Years in practice: 12

Education: DMD, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine (1991); MD, University of Pennsylvania; Certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Pennsylvania.

Specialty: Medical and surgical care of the mouth and jaws.

Quotable: “We’re a group practice caring for a full scope of oral and Facial surgical needs.”

… “Within the last year, we’ve implemented CT-guided implant placement in our practice. In the next year, we plan on expanding our trauma care of teeth.”

… “I always tell patients to be proactive with their dental health. Always take care of little problems before they become big problems.”

Photo by Shane McCauleyOral Pathology: Dr. Thomas Sollecito

Penn Medicine at Radnor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 250 King of Prussia Road, Radnor;, (610) 902-2100

Years in practice: 18

Education: DMD (1989), Certificate in Oral Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.

Specialty: The diagnosis and treatment of oral conditions not necessarily related to tooth disease/decay or periodontal disease.

Quotable: “There are relatively new medical technologies to help diagnose various oral diseases. As there continues to be advances in molecular biology and technology, we can utilize that knowledge and apply it to various oral conditions.”

… “I encourage patients to take note of changes not only in their teeth and gums, but also in their oral tissues, neck and face.”

… “Patients often don’t realize that systemic problems can manifest as oral lesions or oral disease. Some patients may question why I order blood tests or an MRI for an oral condition. The answer is often because your mouth mirrors your body.”

Pediatric Dentistry: Dr. Jeffrey Melini

795 E. Marshall St., Suite 100, West Chester, (610) 918-2400; 105 Dowlin Forge Road, Exton, (610) 363-2100,

Years in practice: 15

DMD, Temple University School of Dentistry (1994).

The oral health and oral development of infants, children and adolescents.

“We tailor the first few visits to each child to see what works best for him or her. Once we find what makes them comfortable, it allows for visits that are productive and fun.”

… “This year, we’re introducing a hard-tissue laser into the practice that will allow the filling of teeth without the use of a drill and, in many instances, anesthetic. We will be the only pediatric dental office in Chester County offering this service for our patients.”

… “A misconception I hear regularly is that primary teeth have no value. In reality, they’re extremely important; they help guide the permanent teeth into their proper places as they erupt in children ages 6-12.”

… “My chair-side manner is very lighthearted—that’s part of the fun of being a pediatric dentist.”

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!