POSITION: Senior partner and presidentt, MSL-Facial and Oral Surgery
LIFELONG AMBITION: To stop and smell the roses every once in a while
FAVORITE BOOK: “The Family,” by Mario Puzo
GUILTY PLEASURE: Tailgating at Foxboro
Imagine a world without smiles – or where the smiles were marred by misplaced teeth, congenital defects, tumors or terrible injuries. Most of us are fortunate enough never to experience that in our lives, but some aren’t so lucky.
Dr. Anthony R. Petito helps set them right, not just to make them beautiful, but to make them healthier, better able to speak, eat, even move, and sometimes to save their lives.
Petito’s specialty, oral and maxillofacial surgery, is at the intersection of medicine and dentistry, and to get into this field, he had to study both. After graduating from the State University of New York at Albany, he earned his doctorate in dental surgery at Baltimore College of Dental Surgery at the University of Maryland Dental School, and his M.D. at the University of Connecticut Medical School.
He did residencies in Connecticut in general surgery, craniofacial trauma and oral and maxillofacial surgery, and he earned board certification from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Association.
Petito has a private practice, MSL – Facial and Oral Surgery, based in Warwick but with a total of three locations, with four surgeons and about 30 employees. But that’s not his only job. He’s also a clinical assistant professor of surgery at Brown University, chief of the division of oral and maxillofacial surgery at The Miriam Hospital, and medical director of the Advanced Laser Clinics of Rhode Island.
He’s also chairman of the peer review committee of the Kent County Dental Society, writes exams for surgeons in training in his specialty, and serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
So who’s his greatest hero: a surgical genius?
No, a high school history teacher – his father, to be exact. Having immigrated from Italy at age 16, he went on to college, earned his master’s degree, and taught school for 40 years. Even now, in retirement, he spends 30 hours a week as a hospital volunteer.
“He taught me that there is no substitute for hard work,” Petito said, “and to always treat others the way in which I would want to be treated. I learned these things not only from his words, but also from the way this very kind and humble gentleman lives his life.”