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The making of UCLA’s Implant Festival

My passion for implants got me the idea of having an implant study club. UCLA School of Dentistry was one of the first places in the US where dental implants landed, so it seemed like a perfect fit. I started the club under the mentorship of Dr. Kumar Shah, director of predoctoral implant courses, and then I formed a cabinet as strong as it can be.

I had a goal of 100 members and even my own team thought this was crazy. However, in nine days we passed our goal and now we have 156 members: the largest study club ever, 40% of the school!

I had a vision of a series of workshops which cover all scopes of dental implants and I wanted to call it Implant Festival because learning a hard subject should be fun. The vision was to have hands-on workshops of sinus lift, implant placement and restoration. My mentor accepted the project and I presented it to other study clubs, periodontics and prosthodontics study clubs, as implants is a multidisciplinary procedure and I believe teamwork is always a privilege.

It took us five months of preparation to make it happen. In the day I sent the email for sign-ups, I received 18 signups in the first five minutes. We had a total of 92 sign-ups. Implant Festival was a big success and will now be an annual event at UCLA. Here is a brief description of each workshop written by each vice president and president.

D3 student Eugenio Aquino doing the lateral window sinus lift procedure using the iPad controlled device


“Sinus Lift Workshop was hosted by the Implant Study Club. After having a lecture by Dr. Joan Pi, Implant Assistant Clinical Professor, the procedure was done on goat heads using iPad-controlled drilling machines. This was followed by Piezo units, then bone grafting followed by membranes and  suturing. Bone scrapers were also used to get autogenous bone and mix it with alloplastic bone material. Residents from the UCLA Implant Center and the perio department served as instructors. We accommodated 55 students, had fun, learned a lot and got great feedback from attendees.” -Reed Combs & Rami Beshai

Implant Study Club cabinet residents and representative with Dr. Joan Pi who is the Assistant Clinical Professor and lecturer along with Dr. Jon Do who is a Lecturer and Faculty Member.


“Pig Jaw Implant Placement Workshop was hosted by the Periodontal Study Club. The workshop consisted of a lecture by Dr. Jonathan Do on how to treatment plan and place implants, as well as a laboratory session where students practiced placing one-stage and two-stage implants with the help of periodontal faculty and residents. Students learned how to perform a full-thickness flap, proceed through the osteotomy sequence, place the implant with a cover screw or healing abutment, and place membranes and sutures to achieve primary closure. The event was attended by 30 students and was a great success.” -Brian Lehigh & Tasneem Nabelsi

Perio Study Club cabinet, residents and representative with Dr. Jon Do, along with Dr. Flavia Pirih, mentor of the perio study club. Dr. Pirih is also an Assistant Professor, and Director of the Pre-doctoral Program in the Section of Periodontics.


“The final session was hosted by the Prosthodontics Study Club. Dr. Kumar Shah, director of the Advanced Prosthodontics Graduate Program, provided a lecture and lab course regarding the importance and techniques of single unit implant provisionalization. Residents of the Advanced Prosthodontic program in UCLA were also present to provide further guidance and mentorship. The various workshops, lectures and lab courses offered by this festival will provide a brief yet comprehensive glimpse into the world of implant dentistry.” -Nerissa Limansubroto & Farzad Moghaddam

Prosthodontics Study Club cabinet, residents with the club’s mentor Dr. Kumar Shah, Director of the Advanced Prosthodontics Post-graduate Residency Program and Director of the Pre-doctoral Implant Course.















I would like to thank Drs. Paulo Camargo, Ronald Mito, Carol Bibb, Earl Freymiller, Kumar Shah, Flavia Pirih, Joan Pi, Jon Do, Nima Ibrahimi, Steve Lee, Sherif Warda, Jeff McCullough, Anil Danda, Pamela Roman, Pandora Wojnarwsky, Soo Chang, Russell Crockett, Xuan Yue, Jenna Benko and Alicia Estrella. It wouldn’t have been possible without their mentorship, support, time and effort. My team: Reed Combs, Brian Lehigh, Rhonda Kalasho, and Amir Tadros I also want to thank the companies that loaned the equipment to make it happen. Straumann for implants, KLS Martin for bone scrapers, PiezoSurgery for piezo units, BienAir for iPad controlled devices, A Titan for hand instruments, Geistlich for bone grafting/membranes and BioHorizons for provisional abutments.

~Rami Beshai, Los Angeles ’15, member, Advanced Standing Subcommittee

Rami Beshai

Rami Beshai is a D4 student who graduated in 2009 from Faculty of Oral and Dental Medicine at Cairo University, Egypt. After he got his Bachelor of Dental Surgery, he finished 1 year of internship at Cairo University Hospitals where he got an advanced experience in the different aspects of dentistry and also the experience of placing implants. He also served 1 year in the Egyptian army before joining the international program at UCLA School of Dentistry. His passion is dental implants and research.

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