I have worn partial dentures for many years and always thought that someday I would get dental implants but, the cost here in the U.S. always held me back.

So in the fall I was having some problems with my partials and was told it was time to have new ones made. I had not been happy with the ones I had from the very beginning and always in the back of mind was, next time I will look into implants and I did.

A friend of ours is a frequent visitor to Costa Rica. He had casually mentioned the cost and the state of the art medical services in Costa Rica, so I started doing some research via internet. This went on for quite some time. Some days I would spend several hours on the computer.

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During all of this I went to a oral surgeon in my home town for a consultation. He checked my x-rays and talked to me some about what he thought would be the best treatment for me, and the cost! Back to the computer!! This story does have the beginning of a happy ending. I say that because I am only in the first phase of implants.

I luckily started communicating with Charlie Dennard, a dental coordinator for Dr. Mario who I found on WeLoveCostaRica.com

I looked at all the testimonials posted by happy patients, I sent e-mails to several of them, asking many questions and they were all very helpful in every way. One question I would ask was what are the pros and cons of leaving the states for dental work?

All pros no cons was the answer.

I talked with Charlie several times and each time I was feeling more confident that Costa Rica and Dr. Mario would take good care of me.

I am not going to tell you that I was not nervous about all of this, I think that is a healthy normal reaction. Even after my husband booked our flights, I started second guessing my decision. I spoke with Charlie on the phone and Dr. Mario called to calm my fears and answer some questions.

My husband and I talked about everything (again) and decided I would go to Dr. Mario for a consultation. Our thoughts were, we don’t have to do anything if we are not totally pleased with what we see and hear.

How bad could it be to spend a week in Costa Rica during our cold winter?

With that said we started checking into lodging. Again we counted on Charlie for recommendations. He suggested Casa Laurin in Escazu which is within walking distance of CIMA Hospital and Dr. Mario’s office. I went to the Casa Laurin web site and was very pleased with what I saw. Then I checked Trip Advisor to see all 5 star excellent ratings! I e-mailed and spoke with Ginette on the phone and booked our room. Great choice!

Flight booked, lodging arranged, appointment with Dr. Mario all set, now we pack our sunscreen and swimsuits. When I spoke with Ginette she assured me her driver Eduardo would pick us up at the airport. She wants all your flight information so she can keep track of arrivals etc.

As promised there was someone just outside with a Casa Laurin sign with our name on it. We got loaded in the taxi (the driver spoke perfect English) and so did everyone else that we dealt with. Casa Laurin is a B&B in what looks like a residential area, not really what we were expecting, but when the driver got us unloaded and to the door, Ginette was standing there with a big smile and a warm welcome.

I felt as if I already knew her from our previous conversation and the whole experience turned out great. We had a king size bedroom with a mountain view. Everything was very clean and well kept. There was a small fridge in the landing area of the stairs. The fridge turned out to be wonderful. After surgery it held lots of ice cream an yogurt!

There are several restaurants and a WalMart within walking distance. We walked to the Costa Rican dentist office on each visit because my husband and I enjoy walking when possible and it was just a good walk in the warm sunshine. If you are not into walking, a cab fare is not costly. We will be returning to Costa Rica in July when we will definitely be staying at Casa Laurin.

We arrived in Costa Rica on a Sunday. I had a 9am appointment with Dr. Mario on Monday. Charlie Dennard met us at Casa Laurin Sunday evening to walk us to dinner and familiarize us with our surroundings. He took us past several restaurants and showed us landmarks to remember in case we ever got lost. After a great dinner he took us back to Casa Laurin.

The walk to Dr. Mario’s office is about 30 minutes We walked through a nice neighborhood, and past CIMA Hospital to reach the office. The office is located in a small shopping center on the second floor. The ladies at the front desk are very very nice. After I filled out some paper work I was taken back to meet Dr. Mario.

After panoramic x-rays Dr. Mario sent me to the hospital for tomographic x-rays to get a better picture of it was going to take to get the smile I wanted. We took the x-ray disc back to Dr. Mario, he put it into his computer and showed my husband and I all angles of my mouth and dental bone. He explained to us the procedure he thought would work for me how, many extractions, implants etc.

I was impressed when he went to the computer and detailed everything he intended to do and he itemized the cost of each step. (When I asked the oral surgeon here in Tennessee to give me a complete cost and the exact procedures he planned to use… I never got a response! I had been honest with him and told him I was going to get a second opinion.. guess that was my mistake!)

Dr. Mario gave us a print out of the cost for each thing he would be doing, from medications he would be using, the cost for extractions etc.. After agreeing on the treatment plan and cost which was less than half of the quote in the U.S. Dr. Mario and I both signed a print out for the procedures. You do not pay for the entire procedure up front. I paid by personal U.S. check for what was done on this first trip and will pay the balance when I return for the final phase.

Dr. Mario’s staff are very caring and kind and all of them are able to communicate in English. Tuesday morning we went in for my procedure: 8 extractions and 10 implant post. I tried to get Dr. Mario to put the temporary dentures in that same day, but he is smarter than me and said wait until Thursday for some of the swelling to go down. That was certainly the right thing to do.

I did walk back to the B&B that day. I was not in any extreme pain during the entire process. I did take the pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed. I had to go back in on Friday to have the dentures adjusted, they were not comfortable. Even though it was around 4:30pm when I went in, they happily made the adjustments to make it feel better.

On Monday I went back to the office for the last check up for the first phase and we took the 3pm flight home!

Do I regret going to Costa Rica for dental work?

Absolutely not! The only regret is I didn’t do it sooner. The temporary dentures are no fun but I knew it would take a little while to be completely finished. I am looking forward to going back in July for the final phase.

Would I recommend this approach to my friends for dental work?

Yes! And I have! If you are considering major dental work, it would certainly be to your advantage to look into Costa Rica. My entire process has been very positive and I’ll try to send in an update in July after all work is completed.

Written by VIP Member Linda Young.

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There is one comment:

  • Linda Osullivan at 3:34 am

    What would the cost be for the stages of treatment of a single dental implant?

    In what time frame would the various stages of treatment take place?

    I have lost a back molar, root is intact and took remaining mostly under the gum causing no pain. This tooth had a root canal and crown three years ago.

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