Welcome to my humble site!

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.

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