The Edison Awards™ for innovation will be celebrated in New York, April 4, 2019. At Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine, Edison Award nominees in the dental category are being celebrated right now.
Among the 12 nominees (Valumax International, Zirc Dental Products, Carestream Dental, KavoKerr, Align Technology, Sonendo, Pierrel Pharma, Mouth Vitamins, Dentsply Sirona, SDI North America and Smile Stations) featured within the article is Dr. Amos Yahav, 59, inventor of Bond Apatite and CEO of Augma Biomaterials USA.
Today, in an exclusive Q&A with IncisalEdgeMagazine.com, the maxillofacial and dental augmentation authority who began his dental career in the early ’80s discusses the secret ingredient that fueled his 15-year development process for Bond Apatite.
Q: What led you to the path of innovation? How did you begin creating inventions that are disrupting dental science and taking away patient fears and pain around dental procedures?
A. As a clinician, dental surgery, implant surgery, and especially bone augmentation procedures prior to dental implant placements became the focus of my practice. The path for innovation started as a result of dissatisfaction from the existing grafting materials and application techniques. While identifying the problems and trying to find solutions, I realized that the armamentarium of materials and the associated procedures have significant deficiencies that must be overcome.
Bone grafting surgeries were complex and complicated invasive procedures. The procedures required high skill and long operating and healing time. I thought that it was necessary to find a completely different concept to relieve the patient’s discomfort while allowing the treating clinician to perform an easier and faster procedure. I decided to develop a material and techniques that would be very safe, simple, easy to implement. Concurrently they would significantly minimize surgical morbidity, shorten the duration of the operation, reduce healing time with minimal complications and offer a high success rate. All in order to give the patient a treatment and healing experience that would be positive with minimal pain and swelling.
Q. I’ve read that you invested your savings and mortgaged your house to fund the 15-year development process for Bond Apatite and other products. What fueled your determination to bring the products to the dental profession?
A. Indeed, those were hard times when no one believed in my vision and I didn’t have any guarantee of success, but I always had a strong feeling that something else should be done for the benefits of our patients and us, the clinicians. This has driven me to embark on a long journey and invest all the efforts required to accomplish the goals set to myself. Personally, when I believe in something, I forge ahead no matter how many difficulties I might encounter along the way, until the optimal solution is found.
Q. Where did it all begin? What what drew you to the profession of dentistry?
A. As long as I can remember, I always had an affinity for art. I have been sculpturing for many years. My uncle suggested to me to become a dental technician to merge my passion and my talents. A few years later, I decided that the best way to maximize my potential was to continue my dental education and bring it all together in the clinical setting. In 1992, after graduating from dental school, I opened my own private practice.
Q. When did you know your efforts were making a significant impact?
A. The moment I saw the results for the first time brought tremendous satisfaction and excitement. However, I knew that I had a long way to go in convincing others, because when developing a completely new concept it can be misunderstood, and in my case sounded too good to be true. At first only a few innovative clinicians embraced the concept, but gradually more and more followed them. Most challenging was market education, convincing doctors that using Biphasic Calcium Sulfate cement for grafting is not too good to be true, but rather it is good and it is true. Today we have thousands of clinicians around the world who are enjoying our innovations and the word is spreading.
Q. Any advice you would like to share to help others in your position stay focused and true to the mission?
A. It is very important to be clear about the goals and to define the company’s strategy. There are so many distractions and therefore it is crucial to remain focused, set timetables, and to conduct an effective time management protocol. Achieving these goals can only be done with the proper team. The team has to be motivated, mission driven and believe in the company’s vision.
Q. In addition to oral health care, what other passions influence your life?
A. My biggest passion is my family, to which I am devoted and where I spend most of my free time. Sculpting, as I mentioned earlier, is my other passion. I also like learning languages, traveling, meeting people and making friends.
Q. How can dental professionals learn more about Augma Biomaterials?
A. I would like to thank you for this opportunity to share with your readership. To obtain the full scope of benefits of Augma’s products, we highly encourage every clinician to attend our educational seminars. I and my team work hard to set those up around the country. If a clinician cannot make one of those meetings, please view clinical protocols on our website. We designed them for the benefit of the doctors, and especially for our patients.