How to find your perfect Costa Rican dentist

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entists and clinics:

This page is for you!

Here's a chance to tell the blogosphere about your clinic.  All clinics are welcome to participate, except for a couple of clinics where conscience compels me to restrict comments.

I'm especially interested in discovering new clinics and little-known specialist clinics. I feel there are some undiscovered gems hiding in that area.

Here are some things readers might want to know about the dentist(s) at your clinic:
  • Dentists' names and educational credentials
  • Any outstanding or distinguishing accomplishments?  (Awards, courses taught, etc.)
  • English-speaking?
  • Your website URL
  • Whatever else makes your clinic stands out in your mind

Please keep the descriptions fairly concise. I reserve the right not to post comments that are way too wordy in my opinion.


ould-be Patients,

Some clinics have described themselves below.  I've done virtually no screening on these--I will be happy to leave that job to you.

Dental Clinics Tell Us About Themselves

By CometGlare → Saturday, August 30, 2014
i there, CR Dental Patients:

Have you had a great experience at a CR dental clinic recently?  Give your dentist some well-deserved exposure by sharing your experience with us.
NOTE: If your dentist is a "specialist," in the sense of having completed a graduate degree after the DDS degree, please comment on the special page for specialists.
Please abide by these guidelines when commenting:
1.  There are one or two clinics that I find particularly questionable. I will probably choose not to publish comments about them, even positive comments.   This is a matter of conscience for me.

2.  Please be a real patient, not someone in an employment or other financial relationship with a dental clinic.  There is a special page on this blog especially for clinics: Kindly post your comment there.

3.  If you had a bad experience with one of the dentists I recommend on my blog, you are free to email me about it at the address above. I'd be curious about your issues, as I expect very few problems for my Fave dentists.

But if your bad experience was with a another CR dentist, then I'm not sure what I can do.  There are better outlets for your displeasure on the Internet than my humble blog.  Let's face it, sites like TripAdvisor employ a lot more lawyers than I do. 

4. Finally, I reserve the right not to publish comments that in my opinion are phrased too harshly to fit into the respectful tone that I try to keep in this blog.

Readers might be curious about these things:
  • What was the name of the clinic? Who was your dentist(s)?
  • What work did you have done?
  • How long ago? (At least six months is best)
  • Any problems since? (If you had a bad experience,
         this is probably not be the best place to post it.)
  • Whatever else you found memorable about the whole experience
  • How much did you pay, but only if you're comfortable discussing it
  • Did you stay somewhere particularly great?

In addition to the basic points above, you might want to address some of my pet questions.
  • Did the dentist allow sufficient time to get things done, or did he rush or take shortcuts?
  • How good is the quality of the lab work?
         Has another dentist commented on your work?
  • Did you have any problems (quite common in complicated procedures),
         and if so, how did the dentist handle them?

When I check out references on the phone, I also want to gauge their credibility. Are they biased one way or the other? How observant and knowledgeable are they?


ould-be CR Dental Patients:

I've done very little screening on the following posts by readers. I think that is your job. 


Readers' Faves: Patients share their favorite dentists

By CometGlare →

Some Internet Resources

The main resource for Costa Rica dentists is living, breathing former patients, preferably on the phone, but otherwise in email.  You can get their names from blogs or from dental clinics.  Talk to them.  They've already been through what you're thinking about.

The Internet also offers a lot of information about these clinics, though often skewed in favor of the clinics themselves.

Most dentists have their own web sites, which are invariably glitzy and impressive.  Just keep in mind that few dentists create their own web sites; outside professional web designers do those.  What the web sites may lack in objectivity, they more than make up for in terms of hype.  "Before" and "After" photos are sometimes found on these sites; these are the most interesting pages to me.

Google and Bing also give you a lot of information about Costa Rica dentists.  Some of the links will be useful, but most will be slanted to the advantage of the dentists themselves.  Keep in mind that some search engines will accept cash to display links more prominently.  I used Google when I started out, but then began contacting the clinics and talking with patients and dentists directly.

There are some advertiser-supported websites which allow businesses to select which reviews to display.  Rod Anderson did a fascinating report on WhatClinic.com on his blog.

The US Embassy's List of Physicians and Dentists

The US Embassy in Costa Rica keeps a list of physicians and dentists, though no one is completely sure of the selection criteria.

My Favorites: Topix

Note added 2/18/2019:  After many years of yeoman service, the Topix forums finally pulled the plug.  Its disappearance will be mourned by many.

My Favorites: TripAdvisor

I also recommend the Costa Rica forums on TripAdvisor. Review are concise, and spam is promptly removed.

See my list of TripAdvisor discussions about C.R. dentists here.

See Hints on Searching the Internet: Press Here.

Or browse some of Dave's favorite dentists from "THE DENTISTS" menu.

Some Internet resources

By CometGlare → Sunday, August 24, 2014


If you're considering traveling abroad for dental work, this site is for you, especially if you're looking at Costa Rica.  Costa Rica has been a "hot spot" for dental tourism for over ten years, and becomes more popular every year.  Its proximity to the US, its welcoming hospitality and its many English-speaking dentists ensure that it will continue to gain popularity.

My dental work was started in December 2010,  and it was completed in April 2011 when 28 permanent crowns were "delivered" (cemented in) for my full-mouth restoration.  It was all performed at DDS Dental clinic in Escazu, a suburb of San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.  Dr. Vinicio Prada was my prosthodontist, and Dr. Anibal "Enrique" Gonzalez was my periodontist, who performed crown lengthenings on all my teeth.  I have been very happy with my dental work, especially when I compare it with a previous full-mouth restoration performed by an North Carolina dentist in 1995.  Dr. Prada did an excellent job, and he was able to successfully address many problems that were not fixed by the previous work.

I selected Dr. Prada after a long research process in the Fall of 2010.  I looked at a score of clinics, and talked to both dentists and former patients from most of them.  Research on each dentist was stored in a separate document, the most promising of which eventually grew to 15 or 20 pages.  From these, I selected my top five candidates and traveled to CR in November 2010 on a fact-finding trip.  After a whirlwind tour of five prosthodontists (crowns), one periodontist (gums), and two stand-alone dental labs, I was not only exhausted, but unsure of whom to pick.  I liked the periodontist I met, Dr. Gonzalez, but was still unsure about the prosthodontist, the expert in crowns, which is all-important to someone needing a full-mouth restoration.   Dr. Gonzalez recommended a couple of prosthodontists, including his colleague, Dr. Prada.  If Dr. Gonzalez liked him, I reasoned, he must be okay.  And that is how my exam with Dr. Prada got booked at the last minute.  The visit was for the next day, which was the last full day of my trip.  It went well.  Something "clicked" and I knew that Dr. Prada was the Best Dentist in Costa Rica for me.  I wanted him to start work immediately, but of course he was booked up weeks in advance, and so I made arrangements to come down the following month.

People sometimes want to know which dentists I saw during my fact-finding trip.  In addition to Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Prada, I saw these five:  Costa Rica Dental Team, then called Hollywood 90210; Dr. Flickier; Dr. Rodrigo Jimenez in the clinic of Dr. Lucas Gill (Dr. Gill was in the US at the time); Dr. "Marco" Cavallini (the "son"); and one other clinic which shall be nameless.  That's seven dentists in all.  I liked all these dentists and clinics and recommend them all (except the nameless clinic).    Before going to Costa Rica, I saw four local dentists in North Carolina.

Common Blue Morpho butterfly, a symbol of Costa Rica.
This is a stock photo like the other photos in this blog.  But the next time I go back to CR,
I'll take my camera and bring back photos of my own.

Since 2011, I have been posting about my experiences on Topix under the name "ChicagoDave".  I also have a few posts on TripAdvisor since 2013 under the name "LongSummerDaze".  After a few years of blogging on these sites, the limitations of these forums finally began to weight on me, and I finally decided to start this blog.  What a great advantage it is to have all of one's thoughts together in one place. Not only does this organize all your posts for readers, it permits them to form an opinion about your credibility in the first place.  The opportunity to interact with readers is also valuable, and is difficult to do satisfactorily on the other forums.

This blog may not win any awards for photography, but at least it will have some of my personal "take" on things.  I do not have the last word on the subject, but many of my opinions have been earned through experience.

I do not aspire to rate the dentists of Costa Rica.  Costa Rica has far too many dentists for me to do that, and I employ far too few lawyers to fend off complaints.  So if my blog strikes you as being overly cheerful, well, that might be true.   I trust that the dentists that I have selected will have few such problems with my readers, but if you run into problems with one of my favorite dentists, please let me know about it.

intend this blog...
  • ... as a primer on dental tourism in Costa Rica;
  • ... to spotlight some excellent dentists in Costa Rica;
  • ... to encourage people to discover other excellent CR dentists;
  • ... and as a place for my own personal opinions and observations.

I hope you will enjoy reading this blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it.  The opinions expressed in this blog are purely my own, and I have no financial arrangement with any dentist or dental clinic.
Pura Vida!


To see "Before" and "After" photos of my dental work, Press Here.

For my detailed experiences with Dr. Prada and DDS, Press Here.

For some Questions and Answers with Dave, Press Here.

Or browse some of Dave's favorite dentists from "THE DENTISTS" menu.


Welcome to my humble site!

By CometGlare →