Unfortunately we decided to cancel our trip. When we made our reservations we had hopped that airline travel would return to some kind of normalcy. But, as our trip grew closer we just didn't see much improvement happening. Some of our flights were either cancelled or times were changed and we just weren't ready to deal with all the B.S. that is happening in the airline industry right now. Once the situation is more reliable then we will of course return to CR as we just love it there so much. Can't wait to get back to Atenas!
Friday, February 18, 2022
Sunday, April 4, 2021
64: **TRIP CANCELLED** COSTA RICA HERE WE COME...AGAIN! (JANUARY 2022)
Hola! I'm so happy to announce that we, my beautiful wife Keli & I, have just finished booking our flights and accommodations for our upcoming Costa Rica vacation in January 2022. This will be my 4th trip to CR and Keli's 3rd. If you follow my blog then you are aware that Keli was unable to travel with me during my 2nd trip (May 2014) which was when my dental work was completed by Dr. Prada. Just like our last time in CR (January 2019), this is a vacation trip and although we will be visiting Prada and the DDS Dental crew for cleaning and a general check-up, there is nothing wrong with my implants or teeth. I feel like I have to state this because last time I received emails asking if I was returning to CR because of implant failure or broken teeth. Everything is 100% fine with my dental work and to this day I still have had zero issues with anything.
Last time we stayed one week and rented a fabulous vacation house in the town of Atenas. This time we will be in the country for 2 weeks and start off by traveling to parts that we have not visited before. We will fly from the States directly to Liberia in the northwest part of CR and spend the first week exploring around the Nicoya Peninsula including Tamarindo, Samara, Manzanillo, Montezuma to name a few. For the 2nd week, we will be returning to Atenas. We rarely go back to the same town, same accommodations when traveling because we like to experience new surroundings. But we loved this little town so much back in 2019 that we didn't think twice about if we should return or not. Atenas has the absolute best climate that we have ever experienced anywhere and we have traveled to a lot of different places over the years. Atenas is about a 30 to 40 minute drive from the capital city of San Jose and this is where we will fly out of for our return trip to the States after our 2nd week is up. We love Atenas so much that this very well could be the place we end up retiring to. Other places that we are considering retiring to are, Panama, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mexico, or Portugal. But that is still some years down the road so who knows what life will bring by then.
We will of course post photos and videos of our trip and updates on any changes at DDS Dental, if any. So please stay tuned and if you happen to be in CR during January of 2022, shoot us a message and maybe we can meet up if our logistics match. You can also follow us on Instagram @happy.tiny.home
Sunday, March 1, 2020
63: NOT ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL
I will just give you my sincere opinion, dental tourism in an industry. The most successful clinic for dental tourism in CR is the Cavallinis. Why, because they know how to make business (cost management etc, very low-cost materials, volume work...just imagine Walmart), but that type of business does not give you long-lasting teeth. 80% of the patients will receive any kind of dentistry and that work will last a couple of years but 20% of the cases really need trained dentists to manage not just esthetics but function.
The dentists that work at Cavallinis are not trained in implant dentistry, they just work A LOT and they received like 20 new patients daily. They have people working in all the different parts of the business like taking out bad comments on the net. So it is very simple to get 5-10 positive testimonials if you get 20 patients daily. They placed a lot of implants but like Michael Jordan said, "You can practice shooting eight hours a day, but if your technique is wrong, then all you become is very good at shooting the wrong way"
40% of my work is redoing treatments of the first 3 dentists you mentioned, The only serious dentist you mentioned is Dr. Prada because he is the only one well trained and not money focused. Anglada is just like Cavallini but a little better trained, performing 90s dentistry and having all the implants restored by a non-specialist dentist. Garita is a very nice guy but similar old fashion implant dentistry. Obando is just like Anglada but really really really money focused. So my sincere opinion is Dr. Prada is your best choice. Remember you are too young, your dentistry should last 40 more years not 2 years. Redoing treatments is VERY VERY expensive, so if money is your issue just try to do fewer procedures but the right way instead of wasting all your money and then having no money to redo your work. All of them may give you a nice experience here in CR and you give them a nice review, you go home with no idea what you really have in your mouth because you are not a dentist and then you may need to redo things. There are, besides Prada, a couple of dentists doing things the right way but they are not focused on tourism, that is why you don't hear about them. Obviously, you may have complications with any dentist, even the best dentist in the USA, but you need to avoid as much as possible the chances to have complications and then more importantly if you do have complications, be with a dentist with the training and disposition to help you fix it. Hope this email helps you, good luck with your trip.
Monday, January 20, 2020
62: CONTACTING ME WITH QUESTIONS
I recently realized that for some reason many of the emails I received from you went directly into my spam folder and that my spam folder auto deletes everything after 30 days. So if you have sent me an email with questions regarding my dental journey and didn't receive a reply from me...well now you know why. I do apologize and I urge you to please resend those emails so that I may respond to any questions you may have. I have changed my email filter settings so that this doesn't happen again.
I'll take this opportunity to say that I'm fast approaching 6 years since getting my dental work completed at DDS in San Jose, Costa Rica and everything is still 100% perfect! I have zero issues with my teeth or implants and the only regret I have is that I should have done this dental tourism trip sooner. If you're on the fence about making this journey, unsure about going to another country for dental work then please, please send me an email and I'll do my best to answer any questions you may have. No, I won't steer you only to the clinic of my choice but instead, I'll try and give you the answers you need in order to help you decide what is best for you. Where you go, which clinic you use is a personal decision that everyone must make for themselves and if I can help you with that then it makes this whole blog worth it!
Talk to you soon!
Monday, February 11, 2019
61: THE LAB!
As I eluded to in my earlier post, DDS Dental now has their own lab right inside the clinic. This is HUGE people and let me tell you why. Most clinics are at the mercy of outside labs. Labs that are separate from the clinic you choose and managed by someone who you will more than likely never meet. These labs serve many dental offices and are often very, very busy with a lot of work to do. The turn around time to get your work done could be weeks. When I went to CR for my 2nd trip, to get my final restoration done, I was there for 2 weeks and the main reason for that length was having to wait for the lab that Dr. Prada used at the time. It would have been 3 weeks but Prada had asked for a rush on mine since I couldn't stay a 3rd week. Another negative about dealing with an outside lab is your dentist has no control over what is going on with the making of your prosthesis. If something is wrong with it then it won't be known until it is finished, sent to the dental clinic and only then will the Dr. have a chance to see it.
That all changes when your doctor has his/her own lab right inside the clinic. Now the turn around time can often be cut by half and your doctor has full control over all aspects of the fabrication process. I had a chance to look at the lab inside of DDS Dental and they are doing it right! The materials they are using are top notch...best of the best. The same materials and manufacturing process that the Favini lab used when creating my teeth but without the Favini $$$$$$! Yes, it was quite a bit more expensive to get my teeth made at the Favini lab due to the materials he used compared to other labs in San Jose, but at the time it was the only choice I had to get the top-notch teeth that I wanted. But now Dr. Prada and his wonderful staff in the lab are making those same top of the line, super high-quality prosthesis but without the middle man which means more $ in your pocket. I mean how can you go wrong with that? I love the teeth that I have now but man I sure wish Dr. Prada had this lab up and running when I was there 5 years ago. Quicker turn around time, cutting out the added costs of an outside lab and beautiful teeth with the best materials available. That is a win for all involved!!!
I was able to capture some video of the lab and I do apologize for the audio quality. I tried to clean it up by reducing the background noise in my video editing software but it also reduced my voice so I had to leave it as is. Now even though this is a single 9-minute video, it is actually in 2 parts. In the first part, we are being shown around the lab by one of the technicians and then in the 2nd part, it is just me and the camera showing you around. The reason for this is that in part one, it was sometimes hard to hear the description that the tech was giving.
Friday, January 18, 2019
60: LET'S TALK ABOUT SOMETHING VALUABLE...TIME!
Now back to our experience in Costa Rica. I think it must be a culture thing because other dental tourists I've spoken with have said the same thing regarding their clinic of choice and waiting time...with one exception that comes up often. That clinic, which will remain unnamed, packs patients into their hot & stuffy clinic and they often wait for hours before being seen. I visited that clinic back in 2014 and I knew as soon as I walked in that it was not for me. But back to culture...from our experience, and others, it seems that the doctors here do everything they can to get you in on schedule and they take it personally if they don't. Totally not the case in the states for the most part and that is sad.
To be treated well and for others to understand that your time is just as valuable as theirs...how can you put a price on that? Oh wait, the price for that experience is actually cheaper than getting treated worse in the States. I almost forgot. ;)
Thursday, January 17, 2019
59: DDS DENTAL REVISITED
As soon as we entered the office we were greeted with a welcoming smile from Natalia...
My wife, Keli, has never had work done at DDS, but she did accompany me during my 1st trip down here in 2014. Since she knows how successful that trip was she had no worries at all about sitting down in the dental chair. In the photos below, Dr. Prada is examining Keli while telling her what he is looking for...
Now, this next part/photo is a bit embarrassing for me. After taking the photos above, I went for a walk, took some photos of the office and such. When I came back to Keli and Dr. Prada, he had finished looking her over and was chatting to her about something....that something was ME! You see in the last year or so I've kind of slacked off a bit on my flossing and both Dr. Prada & Dr. Gonzalez could see that when they examined me earlier. So in this next photo, Dr. Prada is basically asking Keli to ride my ass about keeping up with the flossing. OK, he didn't use those words but he did get the point across and it was funny and as I said earlier...a bit embarrassing for me. But I deserve it as I needed a kick in the pants to get back on track.
In a photo taken earlier that day, here I am about to have my implants and gums looked over by Dr. Gonzalez.
I could tell that Dr. Gonzalez was not too happy with my lack of flossing lately. That's one of the great things about this team, they genuinely care about your dental health and they want you to succeed. They truly do care. Also now that I look at this photo, I do believe I need to stay away from the sugar and fatty foods....for a while.
The dental visit was a success for both Keli & I. On the way back to our vacation rental, Keli kept commenting on how professional and wonderful both Prada & Gonzalez were and that next time we visit CR she wants to go for another checkup. I just looked at her and said, "told ya so".
In the next post I'm going to talk about the exciting new addition Dr. Prada has made to his practice. He now has his own dental lab right inside of his clinic! This is a huge benefit for both patient and doctor. Stay tuned for that after I return home from our vacation. I'll end this post with a photo of the beautiful sunset we experienced yesterday from our rental, which is approximately 8 km west of Atenas, CR, and a video of Puntarenas that I shot with my Mavic drone.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
58: ARRIVED IN PARADISE!
Well after a not so great experience with AeroMexico, we finally made it to beautiful and welcoming Costa Rica! Highly recommend NOT making connections in Mexico City when traveling to CR...it's not worth the little bit of money you may save by going that route. After arriving in CR and getting hit with a blast of heat awesomeness, we made our way to the car rental location via shuttle. Things went so smooth at Alamo and the customer service was outstanding! We were in and out of there in about 15 minutes and on our way to Atenas...about 30 km to the West. Before getting to our rental, we stopped at a wonderful supermarket (Supermercado Coopeatenas) in Atenas to stock up on supplies and such. Then we traveled another 5 km up to the top of a hill to our home for the next 7 nights and as we reached the back of the house to see the view of the mountains I said to myself, "now that's a good end to my birthday!". Oh yeah...yesterday was my 51st but I don't feel a day over 50. ;)
Today is Sunday, January 13th and our plans for the day are minimal. I think we will head down to the city square in Atenas, find a bite to eat and then back home to catch some rays and relax. Tomorrow, Monday, we will head to Escazu for our dental appointments with Dr. Prada at DDS Dental. Just need a cleaning/checkup and it will be great to see Mr. Prada and his team again...wonderful people! After our appointments, we may head to the Mercado Central (Central Market) as we've been there before and really enjoyed walking around and seeing all the shops. Great sights, sounds & smells there.
Stay tuned for more photos, videos and updates!
(listing for the property we stayed at https://bit.ly/2BBzerq and if that doesn't work it's property ID #434995 on the HomeAway site)
Friday, December 21, 2018
57: TOPIX FORUM IS GONE, BUT...
As many of you know, the Dental Tourism forum over at Topix was very popular and had a wealth of info based on peoples experiences. Well I received a message the other day from a gentleman that had backed up a lot of it, if not all, and is making it available to all. Big thanks go out to Eddie!
Click on the blue text below to access the documents. The first one, which combines all 389 pages onto one page, make take a few seconds to load up. My personal preference is the 2nd link that has each of the 389 pages as separate files but of course use what works best for you. A lot of reading but some very good info there regarding dental work in Costa Rica.
So, Topix recently deleted all it's posts, including the "Dentist in Costa Rica" topic.
But I recently downloaded all 389 pages, then converted them to text files.
And I combined all 389 pages into a single text file.
One file has the single text file that combines all 389 pages into one text file.
Dentist in Costa Rica Topix Forum 389 pages in one document
The other file has all 389 pages as separate text files.
Dentist in Costa Rica Topix Forum 389 pages, each page a separate file
I posted on Tripadvisor but they removed my post. I guess it's against their rules.
So maybe you could publicize my message on your site.
I'm just trying to help people with the info from Topix, now lost except for my handiwork.
I also have all 389 Topix pages as html files, if that's of use to anybody.
Saturday, December 8, 2018
56: SUBMITTING COMMENTS
If you have a question for me then it's best to send me an email rather than using the comment section of the blog. My email address is right up there in the header of this blog. I actually enjoy fielding your questions and I do everything possible to answer to the best of my ability and in an unbiased way.
CR trip #3 is just a month away and I can't wait! Stay tuned!
Monday, August 20, 2018
55: COSTA RICA BOUND!!!
I'm so excited that I don't know what to do with myself! I will be making my 3rd trip to beautiful, gorgeous, friendly and beautiful Costa Rica in January of 2019 (yes I know I said "beautiful" twice and it's deserved). Let me get this out of the way...there is nothing wrong with the dental work that I received back in 2014 and in fact, I've had zero issues. My beautiful wife and I are heading back to CR for some rest & relaxation with a dentist appointment thrown in. The dental visit to Dr. Prada's DDS Dental Clinic is nothing more than to get a check-up, cleaning and most of all to see my old friends there.
We will be in CR from the 12th to the 19th of January and this time we are staying just outside of the wonderful little town of Atenas up in the hills about 35 km from San Jose. I will, of course, do updates to the blog while I'm there with posts, photos and videos. I've missed Costa Rica so much and I've been longing to head back.
If you have any questions for me regarding my trip or if you have questions you would like me to forward to Dr. Prada and/or Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Carranza or any of the other awesome team of specialists there, just shoot me a message and I'll do my best.
I'll be posting updates as the trip approaches so stay tuned to the website for the latest information. I'll be posting where we decided to stay while in CR, what we plan on doing for fun and so on.
Follow my journey, as you did 4 years ago, as I head back to incredible COSTA RICA!!!!