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SmilingAtLast

How to find your perfect Costa Rican dentist

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T
his page is for miscellaneous readers' comments.  If you have a comment on a particular dentist, please post it on that dentist's page.  If it's a general comment, you can post it here.

Please observe blog guidelines for posting. Be polite and respectful when talking of other folks' dentists.

Thanks!
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Readers' discussion forum

By CometGlare → Thursday, October 9, 2014

T
here are some excellent "threads" (conversations) about Costa Rican dentists in the Topix forums.

Here is the "Long Topix thread," as regulars call it. I have a soft spot in my heart for this thread, as it was where I first started my own research. It is where I met several people who are now my Internet friends.  A few intrepid newbies have succeeded in reading all 300-plus pages and 6000-plus comments of the thread, but most don't get that far.  If you're new to this thread, I would recommend starting by first reading the May 2014 Update Jamboree posts .  Then go back to Summer 2013 and start reading forward into 2014.  You can follow RJ, Mitch, Sam and others through their initial research into C.R. dentists up through their trips to C.R.  Occasionally, the posts take the conversation off the rails, which is what happened in September 2014.  Topix threads are unmoderated and all it takes is a single person to take down the whole thread (through several methods that I won't detail here).

And here's the "shorter Topix thread".  It was started somewhat later as a reaction to the craziness that often occurred on the Long Thread.

There are other threads on Topix that I haven't been following, such as this one on implants and this other one on implants.

Topix posts are numbered (e.g., "#5501") in the upper left of the post.  The post number never changes.  You can navigate between different pages on Topix by pressing the First, Previous, Next or Last buttons.  To go to a particular page, you can edit the URL in your browser's navigation bar with the page number you want to go to (e.g., change "...THGCO47LHH1FS7DR7/p308" to "...THGCO47LHH1FS7DR7/p123" to go to page 123 of the Long Thread).


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Topix threads on C.R. dentists

By CometGlare →
T
here are several active threads on TripAdvisor about Costa Rica dentists.

I like TripAdvisor because moderators remove posts that are irrelevant or self-promoting.

Here is the single longest TA threadanother long conversation here, and yet at third long one (now closed for comments).
 
And there are shorter conversations: here, here, here, here (mostly about Costa Rica Dental Team), here, here (about NOVA).  You get the idea.

To see all the conservations about C.R. dentists, you need to page through the lists of individual conservations in the "San Jose (C.R.) Travel Forum".  I've listed the significant ones that were "active" from January 1, 2014 to Oct 9, 2014, when I composed this post.


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TripAdvisor threads on C.R. dentists

By CometGlare →

I'm not a dentist. I don't have any implants. I have never researched implants and I really shouldn't be commenting on implants.  But I can't help myself, so I'm going to go ahead and tell you what I do know about getting implants in Costa Rica.

Implants are a mysterious topic for many US patients who suddenly learn from their dentist that they need one (or several).  Let's see if we can demystify it some.

First, as I explain elsewhere on this blog, I have nothing against US dentists.  If you have a local dentist that's an expert in implants, by all means, take advantage of him. Not all US patients are so fortunate, and so there has always been a demand for dental services abroad.

Implants are not an exotic specialty in Costa Rica.  CR dentists have been doing them for over 20 years.  Implants are now a bread-and-butter service at many CR dental clinics.  Services can range from a single implant to replace a diseased tooth, to several implants and associated crowns/bridges/appliances to replace all the teeth on the top or bottom of the mouth. I won't presume to give you any advice for your particular needs; that's the job of highly trained dentists.

You won't save much money going to Costa Rica if you just need a couple of implants: The travel costs will eat up the savings, especially since patients generally require multiple trips.  But if you need a whole bunch of implants, the savings can add up fast.  More importantly, you might be able to afford a much better dental solution in Costa Rica for the same price you would pay in the US for a lesser solution.

All of the clinics listed in the "The Dentists" menu do implants.  Patients frequently post on the Topix and TripAdvisor forums about their experiences in Costa Rica with implants.  In the last year alone, people have posted on Topix from these clinics: Cavallini clinic, Nova (Dr. Obando), DDS (Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzales), Dr. Anglada and others.  My knowledge about implants comes from these posts, and occasional conversations with other patients.

The Cavallini clinic offers high-quality, economically priced implants.  They have placed over 21,000 implants since 1980.  There is discussion on the Internet boards from time to time about the best types and makes of implants, but I don't follow those discussions.  Sorry!  Most patients don't care about the particulars as long the final result is solid and aesthetic.

The Costa Rica Dental Team also does implants; please see their page.

This photo of a lone surfer at the edge of the Costa Rican surf is so relaxing to me.  I hope it relaxes you too.  And if you're reading this blog to research dental implants abroad, you could probably use a little relaxation!  (123RF stock photo)


The specialist clinics discussed on this blog (DDS, Nova, Anglada, and other specialty clinics) offer specialist services, naturally:  One specialist places the implant and another specialist fits the crowns/bridges/appliance.  The dentist placing the implant is sometimes called an implantologist.  Though a graduate of a US specialty program would more frequently be called a periodontist with training in implants.  Implantology is not a separate specialty in US dental schools, though it is in other countries. The dentist placing the crowns would be called a prosthodontist (if he holds a graduate degree in that specialty).  Prices for implants by specialty clinics are pretty standard, about 800 or 850 for just the implant (no crown) according to one person I talked with recently (Oct 2014).  Prices for a crown-on-implant run a little higher than crown-on-natural teeth.  As there are different choices of crown material with different prices, it's hard to quote a figure.

If I needed an implant today, I would probably use my current dentist with a high-end crown made by a top outside dental lab. (I would go to Costa Rica even if I needed only one implant.)  I think that this would run a little above $1800, implant plus crown.  This is the route that one patient took last year for his rather involved case.  It worked out well, judging from Rod's blog, which has already inspired several people to make the pilgrimage to Costa Rica.

For exact prices, you will have to contact the clinics directly.  You can find the URLs of their web sites listed on the clinics' individual pages in the "The Dentists" menu of this blog.  To get comparable quotes, please be specific in the work you need done and how you will pay (credit card or cash/wire transfer).  Some dentists include extractions in quotes, others charge separately.  Most dentists quote credit prices, but some quote cash prices, which are generally lower.   You can also explore choices in crown or implant materials.

Some dentists will work up a prospective treatment plan for complicated cases based on x-rays and photos you send them.  The treatment plan will show how the dentist proposes to treat your case.  It might offer alternative approaches.  See my Q and A posts for more information.

Of course, implants are performed by clinics not discussed on this blog.  Feel free to explore your options among good Costa Rica dentists. It's always great to learn about great, new dentists.

So that's it, folks.  That's all I know about implants.  It's not a lot, but it should be enough to give you a few ideas and get you started. And that's as much as this blog aspires to do.

Pura vida!








What I know about implants in Costa Rica

By CometGlare → Sunday, October 5, 2014
Pacific sunset at Matapalo, Costa Rica

R
eaders:

Your comments are welcome.

If you had an experience with any of the clinics listed as Favorites on this blog, either Dave's Faves or Internet Faves, your comments are appreciated.  Even if your experience was a bad one, please let me know.  I can't promise that I'll post your reply, but if I see a pattern of unhappy patients, I'll remove that dentist from my Fave lists.

If you had a good experience with a dentist not list as a Fave, please comment on the "Readers Share Their Favorite Dentists" page. If you have a miscellaneous comment not pertaining to a particular dentist, you can comment on the "Readers, Sound-Off Here!" page.

Many readers will want to know:
  • What was the name of the dentist(s)?
  • When did you have your work?
  • What work did you have done?
  • Anything about the experience that's particularly memorable?

Some optional questions:
  • Was it painful?
  • How did the dentist handle any post-treatment issues that came up?
  • Can you comment on the quality of the workmanship?
  • What did it cost (if you're comfortable providing that)?
  • Suggestions on travel arrangements or accommodations?
  • Has another dentist examined the work?  If so, what did he think?
  • If you have a personal blog, you may post its URL.

  • You can help readers find you on Topix or TripAdvisor
    by providing the post number and the URL. Please don't recopy your post, just post a note like this:  "For more on my good experience with Dr. XXXX, please see my post #6383 on http://www.topix.com/forum/world/costa-rica/THGCO47LHH1FS7DR7/p307."
    We need the URL because there are many separate threads on TripAdvisor and two separate threads on Topix with almost 400 pages.  Give us the post number too.  Topix posts sometimes change pages as the thread ages.

  • If you want folks to be able to contact you, please put your email or web site URL in the post, or refer readers to a post on Topix or TripAdvisor where they can send you a private message.

Finally, help me maintain a respectful and upbeat tone on this blog.  Please don't post comments that are: Disrespectful, unfounded in fact, or phrased overly harshly against any dentist.  There are more appropriate outlets for those kind of posts.

If this is the first comment you've posted on my blog or another Blogspot blog, you might want to make a copy of your comment before posting it. Blogspot may ask you to sign up the first time you try to post, and your comment might get lost in the confusion.
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Guidelines for Comments

By CometGlare → Wednesday, October 1, 2014