My Preferred Dentists: One Overview and Three Apologies

By CometGlare Monday, September 29, 2014

Q: Which dentists do you personally recommend, and Why?
      A: I recommend several dentists.  In my mind, these dentists fall into four different groups depending on how well I know them.
    (1.) Dr. Prada and his colleagues at DDS Dental.  He's my dentist, and I know him very well.  I've sat in his chair for dozens of hours on five different trips.  I've exchanged countless emails with him, and have even ridden as a passenger in his car.  On a scale of 0 to 100, my Personal Knowledge of him is about a 90.
    (2) Specialists, even if those I haven't heard of.  I have a bias towards dentists who received graduate education *after* their DDS degree.  In the interest of full disclosure, I freely confess this bias of mine up front.  In my eyes, the training of specialists not only distinguishes them educationally--as having served an apprenticeship under excellent established specialists--but it also distinguishes them as having been selected for such training to begin with.  Graduate programs will attempt to choose only the best candidates.
          I recommend that you discover new specialists, those trained in the US (therefore, English-speaking) or those trained in other countries (often English-speaking).
           On my Personal Knowledge scale, all these specialists taken all together as a group rate only a 15 out of 100.  I know them mostly by reputation and some Internet postings. However, my belief in the implicit guaranty provided by their specialty training prompts my recommendation.
    (3) My two favorite general dental clinics of which I have personal knowledge:  The Cavallini Clinic and Costa Rica Dental Team.  I sat for an exam at both clinics in 2010, and have researched them carefully.  I have followed their progress in the years since, and have been impressed with the quality of the work done at very affordable prices.   On my Personal Knowledge scale, each of these clinics individually rates a mere 5 or 10 out of 100.
   (4)  Two clinics that appear over and over on the Internet blogs:  Nova Dental (Dr. Luis Obando and his colleagues) and Dr. Anglada.  I have researched neither dentist, but I've heard excellent things about them on TripAdvisor and Topix.  I would be remiss in not mentioning them to you as you begin your own research.  On my Personal Knowledge scale, these each of these clinics individually rates a mere 5 out of 100.   Dr. Obando and Dr. Anglada are both specialists, trained outside the US, so they fall comfortably within category (2).

Each dentist named above has a page devoted to him in this blog under "The Dentists".  There is a also separate page for specialists as a group.

Q: Do you personally guarantee I'll be happy with any of these dentists?
      A:  I have a lot of personal faith in these dentists, especially "Dave's Faves."  All of these clinics provide quality work.
          But I don't suggest choosing a dentist at random.  Quality is important, yes, but so are other things.  Some are tangible, such as price; others are intangible, such as clinic atmosphere or dentist-patient rapport.  Find a dentist who is an good "fit" for you, not merely one who is excellent in the sense of having good technical skills and access to a good dental lab.
          And if you're not happy with one of the dentists on my site, let me know.  I don't expect much dissatisfaction here--provided you choose a dentist who's not a bad fit for you to begin with. 
          And I apologize in advance if you're not happy.

Q: How about the other great dentists in Costa Rica not discussed on your blog?
      A:  I apologize in advance for not knowing about other great dentists in Costa Rica.  I always wonder about the specialists trained outside the U.S.  I think some of these could be real hidden gems, waiting to be discovered.
            I know there must be little known great dentists in CR, and I'd encourage you to seek them out and sing their praises.

Q: How about great dentists in the U.S.?
      A: If you have a great local dentist in the U.S., by all means, take advantage of the situation.
           I'm not trying to break the bond between Americans and their local dentists.  I'm trying to steer people away from mediocre local dentists (in the US or CR) and toward fine dentists in CR.  It's just a bonus that CR dentists are usually more affordable than their US counterparts.
           But if you somehow got the impression that I had something against US dentists, I apologize.

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