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Dentist in Costa Rica

Jeep TJ …. responded to your PM. I provided my contact information in my response. feel free to call anytime. OkeefenokeeJoe  (May 9, 2014 | post #5578)

Dentist in Costa Rica

WOW! OkeefenokeeJoe here!! It's been awhile (four or five months) since I last visited this site. Thanks to Chicago Dave for contacting me and reminding me to post a follow-up. I wish I could say I have been doing something exciting and wondrous for the past few month but, truth is, I've simply been lazy, lazy lazy. Let's see, when I last attended this forum, RJ was in CR getting his teeth extracted, and there were a handful of others there at the same time. I'll have to read back and see how those excursions turned out. I am, of course, a CR dental veteran who made my first trip to Costa Rica last June. I needed 7 implants and 10 crowns. The price given to me locally for my needed procedures totaled nearly $43,000. After EXTENSIVE research and speaking, personally, with numerous CR veterans, I selected Dr. Arnoldo Anglada and Dr. Eduardo Castro to perform my needed dental work. Like I stated, my first trip to Costa Rica was in June 2013. I was VERY apprehensive about this first trip. It was only by talking with several Anglada patients (and with Dr. Anglada, himself) that I mustered the courage to go. My fears about having such technical dental work performed in a foreign country continued until the moment I stepped into the clinic of Drs. Anglada/Castro. The moment I met with Dr. Anglada and his staff my fears were washed away completely. Dr. Anglada exudes such confidence and professionalism, and his staff is so attentive, that I knew right away I had made the right choice. To make a long story short. Within hours after my arrival in CR, I had 7 expertly placed implants … and these were not just some cheap Chinese knock-off implants … The implants used were Biomet 3i, considered one of about two or three of the top implants manufactured in the world today. Recovery after surgery was very brisk and after a week in CR, I was back on the plane to the US. Within days of my arrival back in the United States, I went to see my local dentist and had him look at the work performed by Dr. Anglada. Now, understand this, my personal dentist's specialty is cosmetic dentistry and he has extensive experience with implants. After taking a long look at the work performed by Dr. Anglada his words to me were something to the effect, "Whoever placed these implants showed a great deal of expertise … I have never seen finer work." That made me feel tremendously good, since he was one of the dentist that had earlier poo-poo'd my decision to go to CR. Fast forward to November 2013. I arrived back in Costa Rica for round two of my dental journey. This time I had no apprehension about going to Costa Rica, but was anxious to get some new crowns on those implants and surrounding teeth. This time, I dealt almost exclusively with Dr. Castro and his lovely (and I do mean lovely) assistant, Dr. Monica. This time I was there for 15 days. After some anxiety about the initial set of crowns Dr. Castro made for my front teeth, he went back tot he drawing board and hit a freakin' home run! What beautiful work he crafted! I got porcelain crowns in the back and Zirconia crowns in the front. When I got home my wife and 81 year old mother were there to greet me. Both of them got teary eyed when they saw my new dental work. Again, I made a trip to my local dentist for his inspection and assessment and, again, he was totally impressed and admitted that I had made the right decision. Continued on Page 2  (May 5, 2014 | post #5555)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Bottom line … waiting, consistently, 2-3-4 hours or more beyond one's scheduled appointment shows a complete lack of respect toward the patient. Seriously, there is no excuse for such behavior. Doctors know how much time any particular procedure requires, and there are software programs available designed to aid in scheduling. In light of this, I am constantly amazed by those who readily expose themselves to such disrespect and then try to spin it as a perfectly acceptable practice. Yes, there are times when things happen beyond a doctor's control that might cause occasional appointment delays, but that should be the exception rather than the rule. Furthermore, a good doctor will make a point to inform the patient of the delay and the reason for the delay. In my book, my time is equally precious to me as the doctor's time is to him, and the ability to honor, within reason, a scheduled appointment should definitely be a consideration when choosing a dentist (or any other medical professional). OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 23, 2014 | post #5203)

Dentist in Costa Rica

My prayers are with you ImaCuriousGirl. I will be waiting anxiously for your updates. Godspeed beautiful lady! OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 12, 2014 | post #5134)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Color choice was a big deal for me and, since I am colorblind, very confusing. This is another reason I had my brother-in-law, Mike, tag along. I wanted my teeth to look fresh, clean and natural, while not looking too white or too youthful. Complicated, I know, but I don't know how else to explain it. Fortunately, Dr, Castro was one step ahead of me and spent a great deal of time explaining natural tooth color and color variations. It was very enlightening, to say the least. I was also blessed to have the young and beautiful, and intensely competent, Dr. Monica … Dr. Castro's right hand girl … work with me on the very best color choice for my particular teeth. She spent a tremendous amount of time making recommendations and explaining the reason behind each color choice. In the end, we all agreed to one particular color and shade (even the lab tech had his say-so in the selection) and the results were simply beautiful. I had a great team giving me great advice. I was so impressed that everyone had my ultimate satisfaction and happiness at heart and did not, as in the case of some clinics, parrot back to me what they thought I wanted to hear. I could not be happier with the end result. My advice to you, ImaCuriousGirl, is to have an idea of what you might like, but invite Dr. Kaver and his expert staff to partner with you on a color selection. They know what looks beautiful and natural and, conversely, they know what looks stupid. Listen to them, and use that as a guide and template toward your ultimate choice. Keep in mind, too, that the doctor and clinical staff WANT you to have the most beautiful and natural looking teeth possible, since that bodes well for them in the form of referrals and new business. They have nothing to gain by steering you wrongly. OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 7, 2014 | post #5105)

Dentist in Costa Rica

The water from the faucet in San Jose is perfectly safe to drink. Their municipal water treatment facility is state of the art. However, once outside San Jose I'd feel safer drinking bottled water. The cost of bottled water is very comparable to the US, maybe just a tad more expensive, but not prohibitively so. OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 6, 2014 | post #5103)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Hi ImaCuriousGirl! Hey … I HIGHLY recommend that you take Dr. Kaver up on his offer and have his driver pick you up at the airport. First of all, it's a FREE service he provides. Secondly, it takes all the headache out of getting from the airport to the hotel. Really, it is a MADHOUSE of people attempting to get your attention as you exit the door of the airport and step into the open air of the city …. to have a driver waiting for you makes it so nice and easy. To see a friendly face holding up a placard with your name on it is a welcome relief! Please, call Jerry now and have his driver pick you up. I insist! By the way, got your PM and you are most welcome, indeed! I want you to have a good time in CR and I am beyond anxious to hear about that new gorgeous smile you will be sporting in a few short days! Stay in touch! OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 6, 2014 | post #5100)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Don't forget your underwear! OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 4, 2014 | post #5087)

Dentist in Costa Rica

New Smile is a budget clinic that has a record of cheap, shoddy work. You've been forewarned, my friend. OkeefenokeeJoe  (Jan 2, 2014 | post #5083)

Dentist in Costa Rica

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  (Dec 29, 2013 | post #5075)

Dentist in Costa Rica

The greatest equipment in the world is no substitute for professional skill, qualification, and a documented history of quality work. OkeefenokeeJoe  (Dec 29, 2013 | post #5074)

Dentist in Costa Rica

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  (Dec 28, 2013 | post #5062)

Dentist in Costa Rica

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  (Dec 27, 2013 | post #5061)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Hi ImaCuriousGirl. Sorry for the delay in responding. No … no need to exchange US dollars for colones to purchase food at McDonalds, or at most places in general. However, I find the transactions go much easier and less confusing if you use colones. I personally recommend that you keep about $100 or so in colones on you at all times, in addition to your American currency. When you are at the point where you have almost used up your colones, then exchange some US dollars for some more. NOTE: The closer you are to your departure date, the less colones you want to have in your possession. Oh, make sure you use the colones coins that your will receive in change for a purchase. That change accumulates rapidly and if you aren't careful, within a day or two, you will be walking around with about 47 pounds of Costa Rican coins in your pocket! No joke! Ask me how I know. Every time I bought something I would get a piss-load of coins in change, and they just kept accumulating and accumulating and accumulating. OMG! By the way, Costa Rican currency is real cheesy looking. Monopoly money feels more real than paper colones. Really. The first time I held and handled paper colones, I laughed. It was some of the most fakey-looking money I've ever felt. You'll see. It's real, though, so don't throw it away! OkeefenokeeJoe  (Dec 16, 2013 | post #5041)

Dentist in Costa Rica

Really, no deals to be had in CR, unless you want to purchase real estate, but even that is rapidly changing. Food is markedly more expensive. For example, I purchased a pack of Hormel "Black Label" bacon at Wal Mart in CR for $9. That same pack of bacon in the US would be only about $6 or so. Commercially packaged food is generally 20 to 30% more there than here. On the other hand, I purchased some beautiful, fresh avocados from a produce stand for something like 50 cents each. That was a bargain. Regarding bringing a large amount of cash through the airport and through Customs, it was relatively easy and not a problem. As you know, you are suppose to declare any cash amount over $10,000. Screw that. Fortunately, my brother-in-law was traveling with me and I simply handed him enough of my money to put me under the $10,000 limit, and we walked through without a hitch. EZ-PZ. Was I nervous at all? No. However, I would be less than responsible to recommend traveling with such large amounts of cash. It's not for everyone and can get you in a pickle in a hurry if you aren't careful. I made proper arrangements to secure my cash (once in CR) waaay ahead of time and I was never worried about any criminal malfeasance. Hey … be looking in the mail this coming week! Stay in touch! OkeefenokeeJoe  (Dec 14, 2013 | post #5035)