Before-and-After Pics from Stephen: Full bridges, 8 + 6 implants (Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzalez)

By CometGlare Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Stephen's Before-and-After photos

Readers of the Topix forum last year were treated to a round of reports from one of our intrepid dental tourists. "EssKay", otherwise known as Stephen, had a full-mouth reconstruction done at DDS Dental with Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzalez.  He sent me his photos so everyone could see them, as he doesn't have a blog of his own.  Glad to oblige, Stephen.  I read a lot of his posts on Topix and even corresponded with him, but it was only when I saw his photos that I understood his situation.

Here are his "Before" and "After" photos:

Before: Face

Before: Smile

After: Smile

Stephen had his work done at DDS Dental by Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzalez.  It was completed in December 2014.  He had 8 implants on the top and 6 implants on the bottom.  The bridge material is Prettau "full-contour" zirconia from Lorenzo Favini's dental lab.  These are solid zirconia bridges, without a porcelain facing.  (I think that this might be a slightly improved version of the Prettau in my crowns from 2011.)  Lorenzo likes to make his crowns and bridges as life-like as possible.  If you look closely, you'll notice that the color is a shade darker near the gum line, and that the individual "teeth" have ever-so-slightly wavy edges.  These artistic effects are a hallmark of his lab.  See the "gums"?  Those are actually part of the bridges, painted as gums.

It was quite an event for Stephen. As I remember, he had a rough time recovering from all the procedures.  But he got a great smile out of it!

He sent me a more detailed description of his work:

My arrival at DDS was predicated upon faith.  After reading all the posts on the forum, I started focusing on Dr. Prada.  This was mainly the result of reading what you and Rod [of fame] had to say.  So when I had my first appointment in Costa Rica, I was really at the mercy of the gods and the fates.
It was determined that all my teeth had to go.  Thankfully, I'd mentally prepared myself for that eventuality for a couple of years prior to making the decision.  I knew the front teeth were a lost cause, but I thought that some of the molars were salvageable.  The truth is, even they were loose (though not all of them obviously so).  It was easier to start from scratch.

My procedures were as follows:

First trip:
  • Full extraction of all remaining teeth
  • Bone grafts in all implant sockets and a sinus lift
  • Eight implants placed in upper, and six implants in lower
  • Fixed dentures

Second trip:
  • Removal of dentures and measurements taken for finals
  • Because of receding gums, it was determined that full bridges were the best option.  The alternative of several bridges would have left me with an unsightly gum line when smiling.  This was compensated for by having full bridges with the "gums" a part of the bridges (i.e. all the same material, Prettau Zirconia, but the "gums" painted and baked in.
  • The construction of temporary "blueprint" molds to determine shape and bite
  • The final bridges permanently attached

That was pretty much it.  Of course, I went through quite a bit of mental turmoil during these procedures, but that's too subjective to be of any use to others.  The mental oscillations of each individual tend to color true perceptions.

By the way, should anyone wish to contact Stephen directly, the best way is to send him a Private Message through the Topix forum. For example, see post #6649 on the long thread. Click on the envelope icon in the left pane to send him a PM.

The patient and the dental staff say goodbye in this parting shot:

Mission Accomplished! 
Stephen's the one in the white T-shirt, flashing his final bridges.  

Next to Stephen is Dr. Prada, and on the far left is Dannia, his long-time dental assistant.

Stephen says, "I think the photo shows the respect and love I felt for all those at DDS. I wasn't the easiest of clients, but Dr. Prada was/is a gentleman and a consummate professional."

Thanks for the photos and the report, EssKay.

4 comments to ''Before-and-After Pics from Stephen: Full bridges, 8 + 6 implants (Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzalez)"

  1. Work looks great. I would like to know what the total cost is for this procedure?

  2. Dennis, I don't know off-hand what Stephen paid. Each case differs, of course. I'd suggest Private Messaging him through the Topix forum and asking him. To PM him, find one of his old posts, and click on the "envelope" icon in the blue left-hand pane. (You might have to register on Topix to do this--I don't remember.)

    You can use Post #6653 here:

    BTW, I found this old post by plugging "topix costa rica dental forum esskay" in my favorite search engine.

  3. Does DDSDental accept american ins. for the extractions and dentures? Mine will cover that but not the implants which hold them in place, to the tune of $9000 out of pocket.

    1. Fred, Costa Rican dentists generally don't have any way to accept American dental insurance. But you should probably follow-up by contacting both the dentist and your insurance company for specifics on your policy. It costs nothing to ask!


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