If You're A New Visitor Then Please Use The Archive Menu To The Right To Start At Post #1 (2013 Dec)

Monday, February 11, 2019

61: THE LAB!

Wow, what a last few weeks it has been! I should have had this post done a long time ago but sometimes life gets in the way and it sure did this time. I finally had so much on my plate that I had to get done, that I finally decided to take a couple days off of work to get caught up. I do apologize for the delay and I hope you can forgive me. Now on with the post!

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 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.

(once the video starts, you can view it full screen by clicking on the square in the lower right)

Friday, January 18, 2019


So I know that I said the next post would be about Dr. Prada's new dental lab but Keli, my wife, brought up something yesterday that I wish I would have included in the previous post. So instead of editing it, I thought I would just do a quick note here. What she said is that she noticed every single appointment I've had, starting back in 2014, that I never had to wait more than a few minutes past my scheduled time to be seen. I think the longest I've had to wait is 5 minutes beyond my appointment time. We compared that to what we've experienced back in the states with different clinics and it's not even close. Did you know that there are clinics in the States that will charge you if you are more than 20 or 30 minutes late? The clinic will make you sit there in the waiting room 30 to 45 minutes past your appointment time but if you're late...BAM...late fee charge! Our time is just as valuable as the doctor's so how about giving us a discount if you keep us waiting in the lobby? Yeah, that'll never happen but they have no problem charging you. I wish I still lived in my old town of Hillsboro, Oregon where we had an excellent dentist, Dr. Sandra Galloway, who realized her patients time is just as valuable. But we moved away from that area in 2017 and I'm still looking for a local dentist that even comes close to Galloway and her clinic. 

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 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


As you know this trip to Costa Rica was all about rest and relaxation. But we did want to get a checkup while here because Dr. Prada and his team are just that good. I mean who voluntarily goes for a dental checkup during a vacation? Well, the staff at DDS are so welcoming and kind, the work they do is so professional and pain-free that we just had to take advantage of being here and go in for a visit.

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


(our vacation rental outside of Atenas)

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'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 and if that doesn't work it's property ID #434995 on the HomeAway site)