As a periodontist for nearly two decades, Salah Huwais had become aware of a major disadvantage when using conventional drill methods for dental implants.
“We always extracted the bone to make a hole, so the hole was always weak, (meaning) we’d have to sit and wait for the implant to heal, which could take anywhere from two to six months,” says Huwais, a practicing periodontist in Jackson. “I wanted to find a different way of preparing this hole to make it stronger, so I started looking at a more biomechanical approach to do it.”
And after four years of research and more than 60 prototypes, Huwais came up with a novel design that achieved that mission and was validated by Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. Last spring, he launched Versah, a medical device company.
The product, which is patent-pending on both a national and international level, upgrades the conventional dental drill, which Huwais says is only slightly modified from drills for industrial use. “You can actually find similarly designed drill bits in most hardware stores,” he says.
Versah breaks the mold, however, with the Densah Bur Kit, which uses a counter clockwise rotation when drilling, as opposed to the traditional clockwise rotation normally used, hence the company’s name. Rather than extracting the bone tissue, this technique pushes the excess tissue to the sides and downward, in a way that densifies the bone tissue and produces a stronger implant site.
Initial data shows that implants can be functionally loaded — or in place and ready to use — within four to six weeks, Huwais says.
The product went to market in early November, and Versah has already sold out of its inventory. To date, the Densah Bur Kit is available in about 150 dental offices throughout the United States.
Huwais says his company hopes to break into the medical market by 2017. “This doesn’t only have application in the mouth. It will have application in the spine, extremities, or anywhere you might put a fixture or an implant.”
Versah will begin offering training for interested dental surgeons at the University of Minnesota in February, although Huwais clarifies that “this new methodology is instantly familiar. It’s a specially designed drill bit, so most of the surgeons out there know how to use it. The only thing is they have to reverse the (rotation). It’s pretty intuitive.”
For more information, visit versah.com.