As I have mentioned, I had a heck of a time deciding on which dental clinic to choose in Costa Rica. Once I had decided on CR, instead of Mexico, I became slightly obsessed with trying to find the perfect clinic for my treatment (remove the word "slightly" and the previous sentence becomes more accurate). The initial clinics that I learned of and researched are ones that I found out about on a forum where there is a thread dedicated to Costa Rica dentists. At the time of writing this, there are 4,937 posts on 247 pages in that thread and I read every single one. The information I found there became the foundation of my CR dental research. Soon I was researching 4 or 5 different clinics trying to decide which would be best. Then I would learn of another, then another and so on. Soon I had a list of over 20 potential clinics just in San Jose.
(click to enlarge map of clinics I considered)
Then I had this terrific idea. Why limit my search to San Jose? Why not look in smaller towns all around Costa Rica? Maybe I would find the perfect dentist tucked away in some tiny building in a sleepy beach town who would fix my entire mouth for a case of single malt scotch and a few Cuban cigars. In fact I did find a couple good prospects:
DR. Aborn just outside of Tamarindo. He is an American dentist who moved his practice to CR years ago. Highly experienced and highly respected by other doctors in CR. I talked to him via email a few times and I have nothing but great things to say about him. 1st class guy. (UPDATE: Dr. Aborn is now working with the fine people over at Dental Cosmetics in San Jose)
DR. Alberto Gonzalez in Quepos. Another outstanding doctor that I swapped emails with several times. If you want to stay on the coast during your dental procedure I would put this clinic on your list to contact.
So after spending another billion hours researching dentists outside of San Jose, I decided to go back and look at some of the first clinics that I learned of on the forum that I mentioned earlier. The clinics I'm about to list below are all clinics that I found to be highly recommended by American and Canadian patients that posted their experience on that forum or on their personal blog that I stumbled on. They are also clinics that I researched myself by looking at their credentials, education, experience, sending them my x-rays, asking for a estimate on a proposed treatment plan and speaking to them via email, phone call or both. I believe that the following doctors/clinics are highly capable of providing fantastic service at a price much lower than American and Canadian dentists. Some are specialists and others are general dentists. I would say that the 9 honorable mentions below all came in 2nd place in my attempt to find the best doctor for MY needed treatment. I would have been more than happy and confident to use any of them if, for some reason, I was unable to go to my final choice.
(alphabetical order - clicking on name will open new window to their website)
My doctors: Dr. Prada, Dr. Gonzalez & Dr. Carranza @ DDS Dental. How many times has someone, or even yourself, said, "trust your instinct"? I remember that when I first started researching dentists in Costa Rica, the DDS Dental website was one of the first I looked at. In fact it stayed open in a browser tab for days on my computer. It was everything I was looking for in a clinic. A Periodontist to do my implants and a Prosthodontist to do my teeth and to oversee it all. Excellent credentials, experience and reviews of all the doctors at DDS. But even though it was everything I was looking for, I still kept looking. Maybe I figured it was not wise to settle on one of the first clinics that I found. Or maybe I just didn't trust my instinct. I know this...if I would have listened to my gut feeling, trusted my instinct, I would have saved hundreds of hours of research. But truth be told I have really enjoyed all of this. From the first time I learned of the term "Dental Tourism" to the folder I have in my Dropbox account which contains notes upon notes of all my research. I think doing so much research into the midnight hour almost every evening will make the end result even more satisfying...either that or it will take about 5 years off my life.