Clinician, educator and restless entrepreneur DR. Kianor Shah on finding one’s true calling, PROPRIETARY NEW DEVICES and how nuisance is the true mother of invention.
I WENT TO undergraduate and dental school in Illinois. Within three years of dental school I had six dental offices and a staff of over 80, but I was lacking the business acumen to sustain such an operation. I ended up moving to California, pursuing an MBA as well as several fellowships. The MBA was perhaps one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. What they taught us in dental school is not what happens out in the real world.
Sometimes in life it just clicks, and you know: This is my calling. I always enjoyed doing extractions. I had an implant company walk into my office in late 2007, and they wanted me to take a weekend course. From that weekend, I knew I’d do anything to get into this space. It’s a massive market, with not enough specialists to do it.
The International Extraction Academy and Global Implantology Summit, both of which I founded, were based on a simple concept. If you’ve ever liked any kind of periodontal or oral surgery, there’s a good chance you’ll like dental implantology but need the proper training to bridge that gap. That led to the International Extraction Academy, where we train doctors interested in surgery to transition them to more advanced procedures. We then held the first Global Implantology Summit in 2018, with speakers from more than 40 countries. Our goal was to create a toolbox, with the help of industry leaders, for our colleagues interested in implantology to know where to start and how to succeed in this industry.
I’m currently working on stem-cell research for dental applications, as well as the first guided fastener—not just in dentistry but in any industry. If you have two or more nonaligned items, you can use this proprietary fastener to overcome angulation challenges in many industries, including dental implantology. Once we pass all regulatory requirements, we look forward to bringing it to market.
I wanted to create something where you can place an implant crown within seconds and remove it within seconds without having to worry about friction grip components or cements. It’s part of what I believe more dentists should engage in: When you see problems clinically and they’re a regular nuisance, it presents a grand opportunity to search for, find and offer solutions.
This booming industry, as a whole, will continue to grow. More people understand implants, growth factors and stem cells, and they want the best chair. If you’re not it, you’re going to be sitting in the office wondering why nobody’s coming in. We are part of the greatest profession in the world, where we can help a lot of people and make a great living doing so.
Dr. Kianor Shah is a dentist and entrepreneur in Palm Desert, California. In addition to leading the team at Desert Dream Dentistry & Spa, he has practiced in more than 300 offices as a traveling health-care provider. He is a seasoned educator and speaks regularly on the clinical topics of head and neck anatomy, biophysics, surgical extractions and oral implantology.