From Disaster to Delight – Our dental vacation in Costa Rica!
It has been said that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. There are many kinds of fear, like fear of the unknown or fear of what you think you know.
The word dentist brings the second type of fear and going to another country to see that dentist brings the first fear.
It has been my pleasure to have been married to the most beautiful, magnificent woman that a man could ask for, for the last 39 years. Linda has a significant fear of dentists. Her mother experienced horrors during her life resulting in the loss of all her teeth at around 40 years of age. Linda saw her mother’s pain and problems that were at least partially caused by the dentist.
Because of this she had not seen a dentist for over 20 years. Needless to say, her smile had been destroyed with time and tooth loss.
Her fear was so bad that when the cap on her front tooth broke off, she would get supper glue and glue it back on. One day, while sitting in my home office, her cap popped off onto the floor and search as she might, she could not find it.
It’s a truism that “All change is painful but there is no gain without the pain of change.” Additionally, it is true that people are not willing to go through the pain of change until the pain of staying where they are is greater than the pain of moving on.
“People are not willing to go through the pain of change until the pain of staying where they are is greater than the pain of moving on.”
I had been studying and reading about Costa Rica for the last 5 years. I had been looking into dentistry in Costa Rica simultaneously. My VIP membership in “WeLoveCostaRica.com” has been an important source of information on the country during this time.
It was during this research that I saw a story about Dr. Mario, written by Charlie Dennard. Having studied the outstanding credentials of Dr. Mario, I contacted Charlie to get more information and to see what our next step would be.
Charlie has been an essential part of this experience, he calls himself a “Dental Facilitator”.
Charlie can coordinate every aspect of your “Dental Vacation” in Costa Rica. He guides you through the process of getting your medical records and getting them to Dr. Mario so that he can give you a plan and an estimate of the cost involved.
He will arrange or advise every step of your trip including lodging and transportation (Charlie’s advice saved us up to $1,000 on plane tickets!) to and in Costa Rica. He even traveled with us to Dr. Mario’s office for our appointments.
I, on the other hand, thought that I could find my own lodging on the internet.
From Disaster To Delight!
The rooms were a lot smaller, there was no phone, no transportation and it was not near, literally, anything. No buildings, no business, no shopping, no ANYTHING.
There was a mountain view, but the owner neglected to tell us about the cement plant between us and the mountain, or the noise of the plant and the cement trucks!
We were isolated, cut off and alone in a foreign country where we couldn’t speak the language and did not know how to contact anyone!
We didn’t know where we were, nor where we were going. We had to try to contact our “White Knight” Charlie Dennard. I borrowed the property owners phone, called Dr. Mario’s office and spoke to the office manager, Vicki, who speaks terrific English. Vicki called Charlie, who called the property owner who arranged to pick up Charlie and bring him to us.
Linda was doing surprisingly well during all of this, until she lifted a towel off of the towel bar in the bathroom and it crashed to the ground. She lost it at that point. It was the last straw.
She wanted to go home on the next plane. It was after that that Charlie and the property owner arrived. The property owner agreed to allow us to break our month reservation but we had to forfeit our $375 deposit for the one night stay.
Charlie had arranged for us to stay at a simple but wonderful bed and breakfast called Casa Laurin in Trejos Montealegre in Escazu.
From the moment we arrived at the B&B it was like heaven on earth. Charlie had come through, rescued us and brought us to a wonderful place where not only were the facilities great, but the people we met were better that you can possibly imagine.
The owner Ginette Laurin was on vacation when we arrived. Her replacement, known as the other Ginette (they have same name) was covering for her and she was terrific. The two Ginettes are French Canadian and are fluent in English, French and Spanish. They both have helped us in so many ways to integrate into the culture of the wonderful people of Costa Rica and to learn the ropes of the city.
Charlie was meticulous in taking us on “walking tours” of Escazu so that we could see how to get around and to see where everything is that we might need or want. Charlie took us to the neighborhood Soda’s (restaurants) where the food is excellent and the prices are a terrific bargain especially when compared to the “Gringo” chain restaurants like T.G.I.F., Tony Roma’s or Subway.
Meanwhile, back at Dr. Mario’s office, my own dental work went flawlessly. I too am a “white knuckled” patient when it comes to dentistry. But, I have to say, that Dr. Mario was amazing.
“I will only go to Dr. Mario’s office for dental service for the rest of my life.”
Dr. Mario is amazing. I will only go to Dr. Mario’s office for dental service for the rest of my life.
Linda’s work was incredible. In one visit he removed 13 teeth, placed about 6 implants and fitted and placed the temporary and permanent bridge work. Linda has to wait 3 months for the bone to mesh with the titanium implant before the permanent work can be done.
What does she look like? Even with the temporary teeth she has regained 30 years in her appearance. In short, she is stunning. I find it hard to believe that she will look even better when the work is done.
But that is what Dr. Mario says. One more thing, our dental work in the U.S. would have cost between $40,000 to $60,000. Our Costa Rica “dental vacation” for two people, including food, lodging, transportation and dental work will cost about $20,000!
We will report back to you in 3 to 4 months when the work is done to give you the final results. In the mean time, if you need dental work now, don’t hesitate to contact Charlie Dennard with any questions that you might have and to get started on you Costa Rican “dental vacation”.
You will be glad you did!
Written by Andrew Mueller BS, DC, R.Ph., C.Ad. Dr. Mueller is a graduate of the University of Colorado, USA with degrees in Pharmacy and Business, Life University School of Chiropractic as a Doctor of Chiropractic and the American College of Addictionology and Compulsive Disorders as an Addictionologist.
He worked in health care for over 30 years as a Pharmacy Manager, Director of Pharmacy at Coral Ridge Psychiatric hospital and 21 years as Owner/Director of Cornerstone Chiropractic Clinics. He also preformed alcohol and drug evaluations for a Georgia, USA court system.
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