An Interview with Versah
Salah Huwais, DDS, President
Dr. Huwais is an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Dental Implant Program. A diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology and the American Board of Oral Implantology, he maintains a full-time private practice focusing on periodontics and surgical implantology in Jackson, Michigan.
INSIDE DENTISTRY (ID): What is the mission of Versah™, LLC?
Salah Huwais, DDS (SH): The mission of Versah, LLC is to research, develop, market, and sell to dental professionals high-quality dental devices based on a novel technology for drilling into bone tissue. We are an independent surgical tool manufacturer. Our surgical burs can be used with common surgical equipment and all commercially available implants.
ID: Versah, LLC is known for Densah™ Bur technology. Can you describe what that is?
SH: The Densah Bur is based on a new technology for osteotomy preparation that we have coined “osseodensification.” Unlike traditional bone drilling technologies, osseodensification does not excavate bone tissue. Rather, it preserves bone bulk so bone tissue is simultaneously compacted and auto-grafted in an outwardly expanding direction to form the osteotomy. When a Densah Bur is rotated at high speed in a reversed, non-cutting direction with steady external irrigation, called “Densifying Mode,” a dense compacted layer of bone tissue is formed along the walls and base of the osteotomy. Scientific literature has suggested that dense compacted bone tissue produces stronger purchase for dental implants, higher initial implant stability, and higher insertion torque values, and may facilitate faster healing.
ID: How does Densah Bur technology work?
SH: The multi-fluted Densah Bur expands a pilot hole without excavating significant amounts of bone tissue through a unique, highly controllable, and efficient procedure with minimal heat elevation. In the “Densifying Mode,” downward surgical pressure coupled with steady external irrigation creates a gentle hydrodynamic compression wave inside the osteotomy that works with the fluting to generate a strong, densified layer of surrounding bone while plastically expanding the bony ridge at the same time. The taper design allows the surgeon to modulate pressure and irrigation, while providing a unique real-time haptic feedback that makes the Densah Bur intuitive for every skilled practitioner. If needed, Densah Burs can be rotated in the clockwise cutting direction in “Cutting Mode” to cut bone like a traditional surgical drill. This dual use capability enables the qualified practitioner to concurrently prepare multiple osteotomy sites of different width/bone conditions with a push of the reverse button on his surgical engine by either osseodensifying or drilling each site without removing the Densah Bur from the surgical handpiece.
ID: Is osseodensification biomechanically valid?
SH: Osseodensification has been tested and validated by the Experimental Biomechanics Laboratory at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. Eric Meyer, PhD, and his team performed a biomechanical as well as histological validation study of the Densah Bur osseodensification technology in 2013 and 2014. The study has concluded that, in porcine tibia, osseodensification increases implants’ primary stability and creates a densification crust around the preparation site by compacting and autografting bone along the entire depth and the bottom of the hole.
ID: What differences will dental implantologists notice with the osseodensification procedure using the Densah Bur?
SH: The most striking difference most dental implant surgeons might notice is the modulation technique. The unique design of the Densah Bur, combined with irrigation, creates a gentle hydrodynamic compression wave inside the osteotomy. The surgeon will feel through his/her handpiece the “push-back” from this wave and be able to control its intensity by modulating downward pressure. This real-time haptic feedback enables the skilled practitioner to intuitively find the pressure point at which the bone begins to plastically expand. The surgeon then controls or modulates the downward pressure so that the osteotomy continues expanding at a suitable rate.
ID: What are the clinical advantages of osseodensification?
SH: We have asked many implants surgeons who are using the Densah Burs this question. Some surgeons feel that osseodensification using the Densah Bur will eliminate the guessing game of implant primary stability, which is helping them in their All-on-4 cases. Others have shared with us their positive results of using osseodensification to facilitate alveolar ridge expansion in both jaws. They are telling us that osseodensification is reducing the minimum amount of bone needed to predictably place an implant by 50%. Another identified advantage is that many surgeons have used the Densah Bur successfully in sinus autografting procedures.
I strongly envision that the Densah Bur technology will replace the traditional osteotomy preparation. Its versatility will impact the market by allowing many clinicians to perform more complicated implant surgeries with simplicity and predictability.
ID: What are your top initiatives for 2015?
SH: We would like to establish several hands-on training courses to introduce the osseodensification concept and the Densah Bur clinical versatility to implantologists throughout the world. We are also testing the utilization of the Densah Burs in guided surgery. Specially designed vertical stops will be introduced in 2015 as well.