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Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

You could well be right about problems wiring funds from the US to CR banks. I had never considered this, since my dentist (Prada) has an account in a bank in Miami, and wiring funds is a snap. Good point!  (Sunday Jul 20 | post #5939)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Paying--- Your CR dentist will probably want to be paid for his services. Different dentists accept different forms of payment SO PLEASE ASK YOUR DENTIST. Also be aware that some dentists offer modest (5 or 10%) discounts for payments paid in cash or cash equivalents. This is an option if you trust your dentist. (And if you don't trust your dentist, like some folks on this list have posted, I always gotta wonder why you would trust him to work in your mouth in the first place?!?!?!?) Taking Cash? People taking US $1000s in cash always make me cringe and shiver. If you choose this option, at least buy a money purse or something you can wear close to your body with your valuables. I travel with one all the time in CR, though mine never has $1000s in it. Almost all motels in CR offer a secure in-room safe for valuables. Wire transfer? Better option. Check with the dentist. Usually receives any cash discount. Credit card? Convenient choice, and you can contest payment if the dentist doesn't come through. (Downside: If the dentist messes up your mouth, there's not much you can do about it unless you want to give that same idiot dentist another whack at it.) Credit card companies charge the dentist a surcharge and often charge the buyer (you!) a small surcharge. My VISA card nicks me 3% for purchases in CR. I don't know anything about PHJim's (3). I've never tried this. It seems a bother. Be aware that most dentists quote prices on a credit card basis and offer a discount for cash, while some other dentists might quote prices on a cash basis and impose a surcharge for payment by credit card.  (Sunday Jul 20 | post #5936)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

There's been a lot of talk about this question and other questions in the past 12 months. I'd encourage newbies to read the last 12-14 months of posts, which are often very interesting. I admire people like Marty who aspire to read all 286 pages, but the last year's posts are the highlights. It's great that RJ has made some of his research available. But I'd still encourage folks to do their own due diligence. (Talk with a few patients from each dentist yourself.)  (Sunday Jul 20 | post #5930)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Favini's lab is located in the outskirts of Escazu. His lab techs can look out onto a view of the landscape that fairly screams, "This is what Costa Rica is supposed to look like!" It's very soul-refreshing.  (Monday Jul 14 | post #5898)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

RJ, I never actually researched this particular question since I didn't need implants. I researched only one dentist's credentials, those for Dr. Gonzalez. I know specifically that he did an additional year of residency (or fellowship, or whatever they call it) focusing only on implants. I'm not impressed by the title of "implantologi st" that is thrown around so freely in CR. I *am* impressed by dentists who have done a million successful implants already or who have received year(s)-long graduate training and a degree in it.  (Sunday Jul 13 | post #5895)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Elliot, 100 hours of advanced training to place implants is a pretty small amount, don't you think? Dr. Gonzalez had a year-long fellowship in just implants after his perio graduate training. Dr. Anglada had a graduate degree in implantology (from a Chilean university). These are considerably more training than just 100 hours. Dr. Prada's clinic is more properly called "DDS", which is how he advertises it. The informal shorthand on the board is to refer to clinics by the name of their chief or founding dentists. Many of the other multi-dentist clinics have their own official names, which are often omitted in discussions on this board. I asked folks to post their prices on the board back last Fall last year. You can look through old posts for the prices. Several people reported prices then. Every person will have a different treatment plan for his individual case and preferences. The best way to get prices is to contact the clinic directly. If you specify a specific procedure, then even the office manager can point you to prices (which are often posted but not secret). A zirconium crown, so much. Implant plus zirconium crown, so much. Etc. Be sure you're comparing apples with apples. If you need a treatment plan, then you're putting the dentist on the spot to donate his time on spec to give you a free plan. Some will, some won't. I think you would benefit A LOT from reading the last 12 months of posts, Elliot.  (Sunday Jul 13 | post #5891)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

TGi: Favini's lab is great! It's like an artist's retreat. But I guess you'll just have to take my word for it (unti RJ gets around to posting video). The dental lab prepares the stuff that the dentist puts in your mouth. It's important that they do a good job.  (Sunday Jul 13 | post #5887)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

EssKay, It's good that you're weighing your options. I agree with the others that non-metal (zirconium/prettau ) is the way to go. I have three-year-old Prettau crowns, but I think that there is a new, improved version of Prettau, and possibly a new direct competitor to Prettau from another supplier. -dave  (Sunday Jul 13 | post #5882)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Jim, Not having any implants, I'm not in a position to recommend an "all on 6" versus a "all on 14" or whatever they call it. I assume that EssKay had several dentists explain the various options that might suit him. An ethical dentist like Dr. Prada wouldn't do a more complicated procedure unless it was indicated. I'm glad you agree about the fact-finding trip. Unfortunately, some dentists may not be able to schedule you on short notice for even minor things like extractions or grafts. Hence, that trip would be solely fact-finding....wh ich most readers would abhor because of cost reasons, but there are trade-offs involved by doing all the planning long-distance.  (Saturday Jul 12 | post #5875)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

EssKay: Well, it still seems like a big cost savings. We've had folks on this board needing full-mouth restorations with a lot of implants being quoted above $100,000--such quotes weren't unusual because the implants are expensive in the US. (PHJim, I don't think EssKay's dental costs were out of line. It's a full-mouth reconstruction plus 14 implants.) I can't speak to your pain, as I don't have any implants. But you could have posted here anyway and perhaps someone who has been in your position could have chimed in with a helpful suggestion. I always suggest vitamins. (I actually think your previous smoking strongly colored your dental experience. Sorry.) I don't smoke, and my only real pain with my full-mouth reconstruction was on the day Dr. Prada had to "pack" my gums before the final crowns. That was fairly painful, I must admit, but only for a 30 minutes or so. But he did a good job in prepping (grinding) my 28 teeth--a job he actually did twice: That's 56 teeth prepped without excessive pain. And Dr. Gonzalez did a good job with a lot of gum surgery, but I was under sedation for that (well worth the cost). If cost is the main consideration, there are dentists more economical than specialists like Dr. Prada. (Among others, research the Cavallinis for implants/crowns or Costa Rica Dental Team for crowns.) I think you should have taken more initiative in exploring cost scenarios before you had your work. That would have saved you that awkward "OMG!" moment. Ethical dentists like Dr. Prada don't sugarcoat the possible costs, they will tell you up front. (Patients are different, you know: Some patients can easily afford these costs, and they are more blase about asking about them.) Lastly, to everyone, I have to extol once again the advantages of a preliminary fact-finding trip to CR. People don't do it because of the cost and inconvenience: I totally get that. But there simply is NO SUBSTITUTE for an exam in a dentist's chair. Clever people try to finesse this with email x-rays and such from long-distance. But it's not the same thing as actually being there at the clinic. Every C.R. dentist that I've ever met REALLY, REALLY would love to see you face to face in his clinic. It's fine to short-cut the fact-finding trip, but there are trade-offs involved.  (Saturday Jul 12 | post #5872)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

EssKay, You aren't buzzkill. You are just giving an honest recounting of your experiences, and your opinions. (Prada is my dentist too.) It will help serve as an antidote to any newbies who think that getting major dental surgery will be a piece of cake. The truth is that all patients are different: Their dental challenges are different, their smoking/non-smokin g habits are different, their states of healths are different, their psychological reserves and preparation are different, etc., etc., etc.. So everyone will have different reactions, even to the same dentist. Your posts remind us of this fact. I appreciate your PMing me your second post (since I couldn't see it on the board). Forgive me if I admit that I had to laugh when I read you had 14 implants and some extractions. This is MAJOR, MAJOR work! So of course you might have had some post-op adjustment to go through! I had two wisdom extracted in about 2005, and I needed a couple days' vacation just to allow those to heal. Just two extractions. EssKay, it will all come together when the permanent crowns/bridges/wha tever are delivered. Like other good dentists discussed on this forum, all the work he does is designed so that the final product is the best possible outcome for each case. (You also said that you calculated that--with travel expenses--your dental work in CR would not save you money. Are you sure about that? A typical price for an implant plus crown in the States is $4,000 or $5,000. So your 14 implants--alone--w ould be like $56,000. I don't think you're paying anywhere near that. Many of us who obtained dental work in Costa Rica were prompted to do so by super-high estimates by US dentists.) Elliot, Elliot, Elliot. If you skimmed the photos in RJ's great blog (or read my own posts), you'd realize that Prada is like the quarterback who plans the whole dental work. He also designs and fits the final crowns (bridges, whatever). His colleague Dr. Gonzalez is the one who actually does the implants and any gum work. (This is why it's a "specialty " clinic. Each dentist is a degreed "specialist " who "specializes " in just one aspect of the work.) It *is* true that Prada has a degree from Louisiana State, as you say. That would be his *graduate* degree in prosthodontics. His DDS degree is from Costa Rica, where they combine the DDS degree and the undergraduate college degree into a single undergrad program (5 or 6 years long). Dr. Gonzalez also has a DDS degree from a Costa Rica university, and a graduate degree from Baylor University (with additional training in implants). This is not unique to Dr. Prada and Dr. Gonzalez: It's typical of all *specialist* dentists in Costa Rica, and the specialty clinics. (BTW: I don't like middlemen either.) HTH.  (Saturday Jul 12 | post #5867)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Marcel, If you PM me, I can give you my email address and you can send me screen captures of what you're facing. There's probably a reasonable explanation.  (Wednesday Jul 9 | post #5839)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Urotex: Glad you found my hint about dentists good with veneers helpful. You know, it's not like there is some mystical, occult knowledge that some dentists know about veneers. A dentist who is generally good with other procedures will also be good with veneers. The thing to remember is that other procedures (e.g., crowns) are more forgiving of so-so handiwork than are veneers, and therefore mediocre craftsmanship is more likely to be evident in procedures demanding high levels of judgement or workmanship than procedures that are less demanding. Morale of the story: If you want veneers or other fine aesthetic work, find a very good dentist (CR or US). Marcel: Two of your posts can be seen by you but not by me. Here are five of your posts, as seen by me: #5791 "1 of 2" #5792 -- No post with this number is visible to me. #5793 "3 or 3" #5794 -- I don't see any post with this number at all. #5795 "Please ignore last repetitive entry." It seems bizarre, but it's true: You can see posts #5792 and 5794, but I can't. No need for conspiracy theories: this is just another Topix feature. I ran into this exact same situation several months ago with another Topix poster. He could see posts that weren't visible to me. If you repost, I'd probably be able to see it. Does this help you Register, Marcel? To "register ", change your settings to allow folks to contact you. Click on your username at the very top of the web page, next to "Topix". Click on "Settings ", and change your settings. There are three settings. My current settings are shown below. They example indicates that (1) someone can PM me,(2) that I will be notified by email if they do, and (3) that my posts are available for browsing if folks click on my name: MY SETTINGS Personal Messages are enabled. Registered Topix users can send you Personal Messages. Email alerts for Personal Messages are enabled. Your list of recent forum posts is currently public.  (Tuesday Jul 8 | post #5828)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

PH Jim: Yeah, it's interesting that a post got deleted. Unless the poster comes back on the forum, and is willing to share his photos, I for one can't get too excited. As for Marcel's second post, did you see it yesterday? I didn't. I think it simply failed to get posted. Happens a lot with long posts.  (Tuesday Jul 8 | post #5814)

Costa Rica

Dentist in Costa Rica

Amador Girl: It's easy to second guess oneself, and I did a lot of it before my trips. Ooooh, noooo, Costa Rica!! But, really, what alternative did I have? I had already tried the local guys, and I didn't want to make the same exact mistake twice in a row. I think you'll be in good hands with Dr. Obando. Relax. Major dental treatment is stressful--physica lly, psychologically and financially! It's good that this board has posts from people honestly pointing this out (in case any of us could forget!). You know what you're getting into, and so you'll do fine, Amador. Giving up smoking was a great decision, especially before implants or gum work. Congratulations! -dave  (Tuesday Jul 8 | post #5812)

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