Dentist in Costa Rica

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“Dental Blog Link In My Profile”

Since: Jul 13

Santa Cruz born. Now in Oregon

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#5059
Dec 26, 2013
 
Woody66 wrote:
TO ALL NEWBIES:
This holiday season is the first time that I can remember taking family pictures and not only being relaxed smiling but actually making it a point to show as many teeth as possible after my youngest son pointed it out.
I do not have ONE picture prior to going to Costa Rica for dental work where my mouth is open. Many times a picture taker would say, "You're not smiling" and I would totally ignore them. Pictures are forever and I did not want to get caught looking "raggedy". WHAT ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU CAMERA SHY BECAUSE OF THE UNACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE OF YOUR TEETH? ARE YOU EATING COMFORTABLY? OTHER ISSUES? IT'S NOT GOOD FOLKS....NOT GOOD AT ALL!
Let 2013 be the last year of your discontent. Make a resolution this New Year to handle your teeth business. There is not ONE person in this forum who made the decision and who did not experience a positive change in the quality of their life and, in fact, regretted that they waited so long.
When you get feed up reading about us(veterans).....JOIN US!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Woody66
Great post Woody. I know exactly what you mean about not showing teeth in photographs. I don't like my photo taken often but when I can't avoid it I make sure my mouth is closed and I usually just muster a grin. "How come you don't smile?", "how come you don't show your teeth when you smile?". If I had a dime for everytime someone asked me that.

I can't wait to experience what you're experiencing right now.
Dominical Bob

La Grange, IL

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#5060
Dec 27, 2013
 
Panhandle Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
Curious, I found it easier to exchange my money. I felt more comfortable about getting ripped off. It's much harder to tell what exchange rate they are using with American money.
Point of note. Banks have a much more favorable exchange rates than the airport.
Hi All:
Happy New Year!
Just wanted to mention as a frequent traveler to Cosrta Rica, I find the best way to get Colones at a reasonable exchange rate is to use an ATM. The exchange rate has been hovering at 500 to 1. Therefore, if you want $100 USD in Colones, you'd punch in 50,000 colones. The standard bank fee is around $3 for the transaction.(fortunately, my bank refunds 4 ATM charges a month....so no fee!) There is an ATM in the baggage claim area at SJO and many secure ATM's throughout the country. I found the very worse place to exchange is at the hotel. Speaking of hotels, though I most often use Barcelo Palcio San Jose (free airport pick up and return) or the Palma Real (close to Anglada/Castro) look at Kayak.com for very good rates.They change frequently and great rates can be found.
Best regards, Bob

Since: Mar 13

Richmond Hill, GA

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#5061
Dec 27, 2013
 
Panhandle Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
Also even though they take dollars doesn't mean they understand the exchange rate.
PS The banks have a much favorable exchange rate than the airport. I suggest holding off exchanging till you get to town.
At most Costa Rican retail business establishments, when you purchase something using American dollars, the change rate, American $$ to CR colones, is computed electronically by the cash register . it's not a calculation performed manually in the head of the cashier. However, it was my experience that most roadside and sidewalk mom-and-pop operations lack the benefit of electronic wizardry and, therefore, prefer colones for their simple hand-to-hand transactions.

By the way, instead of banks, I found that I got the very best exchange rates at the casinos, which are everywhere. There is a casino next door to the Cristina that I used as my personal CR bank. Their exchange rate was a few cents (per dollar) more favorable than the bank.

OkeefenokeeJoe

Since: Mar 13

Richmond Hill, GA

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#5062
Dec 28, 2013
 

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Woody66 wrote:
WHAT ABOUT YOU? ARE YOU CAMERA SHY BECAUSE OF THE UNACCEPTABLE APPEARANCE OF YOUR TEETH? ARE YOU EATING COMFORTABLY? OTHER ISSUES? IT'S NOT GOOD FOLKS....NOT GOOD AT ALL! Woody66
Hey Woody been thinkin' about this one.

Over the years I never had bad teeth in the front because they were always nicely capped. Most of my issues were always in the back of my mouth, and even those were not problems until 2008, or so. However, after my return from Costa Rica last June I learned, first-hand, exactly what you are talking about. Two weeks after arriving home, the front (upper) tooth that provided support for the "temp" (which covered a gap left by a freshly implanted tooth) suddenly broke off at the gum line, leaving me with a hideous two-hole gap. Because the support tooth had broken off, there was no way the temp would stay in. Because my local dentist wanted $1200 to make me a new temp to cover both missing teeth, and because I was to return to CR in only 3 1/2 months to get my new teeth, I decided to take no action and simply go "hillbilly."

You are indeed correct in your assessment above I, too, am VERY self-conscious about my teeth and did every thing in my power to avoid smiling, or even talking. Of course, missing two of your upper front teeth causes a slight lisp in one's speech, making matters even worse. Not only did I look stupid, I felt stupid. It was like my IQ had dropped at least 30 points as soon as those teeth hit the floor. By the middle of October, shortly before my return to CR for the finishing work, I had become almost a recluse, ala Howard Hughes (except without the personal hygiene issues). Truly, it was a very humbling experience for me.

Fast forward to today I am once again out and about and smiling at everyone. My Christmas pictures taken over the past few days show a full compliment finely sculptured teeth. Really I take every opportunity to flash a huge smile. Now I know why women who have had breast augmentation want to take their tops off all the time. Dude, you just got to show them babies off!

OkeefenokeeJoe

Since: Dec 13

Courtenay, Canada

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#5063
Dec 28, 2013
 

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I have been back from Costa Rica for about a week. I must admitt that I am very happy to be home. I usually like travelling and enjoy being in tropical countries but this time was different.
I flew to San Jose thursday Nov 28. I stayed in a hostel near the airport. Friday morning I took a Bus to San Jose and checked into the quite , clean and peacefull Ridgeway Hostel, which is run by Quakers. I had pretty much decided to have Anglada do the implants. On Friday checked out the Dentavac clinic for a comparison and Cavallini clinic did not respond in a timely fashion. I took a bus to La Sabana, and walked south of the McDonalds. I did not find Anglada's clinic. After a frustrating 20 minutes wandering around and trying to make myself understood with my lousy spanish, i took a taxi to the OTHER McDonalds and found the clinic.
On Monday the work was completed in 2 hours. I was very impressed, 9 implants and a sinus lift. I guess one gets very efficient after doing more than 5000 implants.
During my research, mostly on this forum, i did not consider the recovery. 3 days after surgury i woke to a swollen eye. When i flipped the light on in the bath room i was shocked to see a puffed up face. I freaked. I thought something terrible had happened. A quick search on net showed it to be normal.
The first days i ate just mushy food like scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes. I bought a tiny food chopper/processor ($28) then started eating everything
The recovery was actully normal even though i was fearfull that something might go wrong or get infected. After a few more days i grabbed a bus to the Pacific: Montezuma. The water was nice but it was a bit too warm and humid for me. Really all i wanted to do was go home. I thought i needed to stay for 2 weeks after surgury but the Dr. said I could go home anytime. To change flight was $350...too much. I went to Nicaragua which is a lot cheaper. Granada was nice but it too was a bit too warm and humid. On up the hill I went to Matagalpa. The hostel there had the kitchen closed. I needed a kitchen to cook my own food, and mush it. So off to Estilli' i went. There i checked into room in a very nice hostel. I stayed there 6 or 7 days, most of the time just killing time waiting for my flight home. I took a tour up to the jungly mist rain forest; only $15 including lunch for a whole day !
The last night in Estilli' there was a dancing horse festival. Wow ! What a huge festival ; and the horses and cowboys and the women , ya hoo !
I was starting to enjoy Nicaragua.
Instead of staying in Rivas, near the border with CR, i went to San Juan del Sur, the popular beach town. On the way there, in the chicken bus, with the ranchero music playing, passing through lush cattle country, i fell in love with Nicaragua. The beach town was very nice. The weather was a bit cooler and dryer wich suited me. The next day, my last day in Nicaragua, i rented a dirt motorcycled ,$20 for 4 hours, and explored the nearly deserted beachs to the north. I came back for a nice piece of pizza and a puff before heading off to the border and the 5 hour bus trip back to the Ridgeway hostel.
I am now sitting at home on Vancouver Island, with a mouthfull of implants. The stitches needed a bit of help to come out , but other than that everything went well. In 5 months more i will go back for the crowns.
Ross
Lilmsnoitall

Aiken, SC

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#5064
Dec 28, 2013
 
OMG Joe, you hit the nail on the head. That is so funny, I feel the same way. Since you lost your support tooth, did you feel strange with just the posts in your mouth? I just lost a temp tooth that covered a post, and I am struggling with the idea of flying back to CR for a day, don't know if having a post uncovered will compromise the implant.:( Anyway you must be a pretty secure individual. Glad it all worked out for you. Happy New Year.

Since: Jun 11

The Triangle, NC

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#5065
Dec 28, 2013
 
Vancouver: Thanks for the helpful progress report. I had never thought about an excursion over the border to Nicaragua, but it sounds tempting the way you describe it.

Since: Feb 13

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#5066
Dec 28, 2013
 
Vancouver Island Guy,

You have some story there. You post as if you were traveling extremely lightly. I used to be adventurous when I was younger; now my motto is, " It's better to read the news than be in the news". I'm not a scholar on Central America, and based on my limited knowledge(many would say ignorance) that I feel I would be comfortable with Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. The rest, not so much so.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading about your adventure and hearing that you are doing fine in regards to your dental work. You remind me of the "World's Most Interesting Man" ....Stay thirsty my friend.

Woody66

Since: Feb 13

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#5067
Dec 28, 2013
 
Joe,

In addition to the constant smiles, the confidence and piece of mind realized almost totally negates the financial concerns that one has at the beginning of one's dental journey. It is MORE than worth it.

One can truly say that having one's mouth transformed will be one of the wonders of the world. Our world anyway.

I'm getting carried away ....I'm sorry.

Woody

“Dental Blog Link In My Profile”

Since: Jul 13

Santa Cruz born. Now in Oregon

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#5068
Dec 28, 2013
 
I would like to go in to Nicaragua but will wait until my 2nd trip to CR when I think I'll have more time. I actually researched a couple dental clinics in Nicaragua. The prices were a bit cheaper than most in CR. A lot of folks where saying good things about Dr. Mongalo: http://www.mongalo.com

Since: Dec 13

Courtenay, Canada

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#5069
Dec 29, 2013
 
Woody66 wrote:
Vancouver Island Guy,
I would be comfortable with Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. The rest, not so much so.
Wood66
Intentional homicides per 100,000:
Canada. 1.6
USA. 4.8
Costa Rica 10
Nicaragua 12.6
Panama. 21
Mexico. 23
Guatemala. 38
Belize. 41
El Salvador 69
Honduras 91

Since: Dec 13

Courtenay, Canada

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#5070
Dec 29, 2013
 
Woody66 wrote:
Vancouver Island Guy,
You have some story there. You post as if you were traveling extremely lightly. I used to be adventurous when I was younger;.
Woody66
I also am not as adventurous. I am 57 and am beginning to like a bit more comfort. I do travel light, its nice not having to wait for bags to arrive and being able yo use overhead racks on the bus. I did check my bag on the way back: the big machete that i got in Nicaragua would not be appropriate for carry on baggage.
In my back pack:
Thin Rain coat
Thin Rain pants
Flip flops
Pants
Shorts
Swim suit
Snorkel and mask
1 long sleeve shirt
2 short sleave shirt
3 socks
3 underwear
Bathroom bag
Small micro fibre towel
Lonely planet Costa Rica book
Spanish/english dictionary
I usually wash clothes by hand a little every day.
After surgery i also carried a mini food processor.

Since: Dec 13

Courtenay, Canada

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#5071
Dec 29, 2013
 
RJ of Oregon wrote:
I would like to go in to Nicaragua but will wait until my 2nd trip to CR when I think I'll have more time. I actually researched a couple dental clinics in Nicaragua. The prices were a bit cheaper than most in CR. A lot of folks where saying good things about Dr. Mongalo: http://www.mongalo.com
Who did you choose in CR ? Why not Mongalo ?
His equipment is state of the art ! Water/laser and no drills! Wow !

Since: Dec 13

Courtenay, Canada

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#5072
Dec 29, 2013
 
Chicago Dave wrote:
Vancouver: Thanks for the helpful progress report. I had never thought about an excursion over the border to Nicaragua, but it sounds tempting the way you describe it.
Trans Nica bus does all the border details for you.$28 from SJ to Managua. Relatively expensive but very plush with TV movie and aircon.

Since: May 13

Perris, CA

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#5073
Dec 29, 2013
 
Just interested what the rest of my blog buddies here say at passport control in Costa Rica when entering and you are asked about the purpose of your visit. Do you say "just tourist" or do you divulge your plans to have dental work done? On my first visit I told them I was visiting a dentist and I don't think they understood and there was much confusion.

Since: Mar 13

Richmond Hill, GA

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#5074
Dec 29, 2013
 
Vancouver Island Guy wrote:
<quoted text>
Who did you choose in CR ? Why not Mongalo ?
His equipment is state of the art ! Water/laser and no drills! Wow !
The greatest equipment in the world is no substitute for professional skill, qualification, and a documented history of quality work.

OkeefenokeeJoe

Since: Mar 13

Richmond Hill, GA

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#5075
Dec 29, 2013
 
Dog_lover2252 wrote:
Just interested what the rest of my blog buddies here say at passport control in Costa Rica when entering and you are asked about the purpose of your visit. Do you say "just tourist" or do you divulge your plans to have dental work done? On my first visit I told them I was visiting a dentist and I don't think they understood and there was much confusion.
Dog_Lover2252

Just say "Tourist" or "Tourism."

No need to confuse the matter and subject oneself to further questioning and even more confusion by a foreign customs office who already struggles with the English language.

It's one of those situations where the more you say, the more you will have to say.

OkeefenokeeJoe

Since: Jun 11

The Triangle, NC

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#5076
Dec 29, 2013
 
Dog_lover2252 wrote:
Just interested what the rest of my blog buddies here say at passport control in Costa Rica when entering and you are asked about the purpose of your visit. Do you say "just tourist" or do you divulge your plans to have dental work done? On my first visit I told them I was visiting a dentist and I don't think they understood and there was much confusion.
I have usually said "dental work" when asked by Costa Rican or U.S. authorities during my five trips to C.R. They seem to be familiar with the fact that C.R. is a popular destination for medical and dental tourists.

Dog Lover, it's odd that they challenged you on this answer.

Since: Feb 13

Location hidden

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#5077
Dec 29, 2013
 
Vancouver Island Guy,

Thanks for the stats; I didn't know that. Word is that if you handle your business during the daytime and don't mess with the local females, your chances of survival radically improve.

Your travel list was astonishingly light until I realized that the items were only for your back pack ...... oh well, I need to stop while I'm ahead. If you enjoyed yourself, that's the main thing.

“Dental Blog Link In My Profile”

Since: Jul 13

Santa Cruz born. Now in Oregon

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#5078
Dec 29, 2013
 
Vancouver Island Guy wrote:
<quoted text>
Who did you choose in CR ? Why not Mongalo ?
His equipment is state of the art ! Water/laser and no drills! Wow !
VIG....I chose Dr. Prada & Dr. Gonzalez @ DDS Dental. People are probably going to get tired of me promoting my blog but I talked about how I came to my decision in post #5. http://thedentaltourist.blogspot.com/

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