Dental Tourism in Costa Rica

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Palouse, WA

#1 Feb 7, 2012
I am starting this forum regarding Dental Tourism in Costa Rica.

Many people from different countries are looking to take a trip for dental work in Costa Rica.

Discussions on this forum can be about experiences with dentist, hotels to stay at, tours, anything regarding your trip and dental tourism.

I would like this forum to be a place to help others on their journey and ask it would not turn into my dentist is better than yours type forum. There are many good dentist in Costa Rica and it all depends on what you are comfortable with and what you are looking to have done.

I ask that people who are posting about their dental experiences please tell us what they had done, when they had it done, and if they are a dental tourist. Some people who are happy with their dentist may sound like a commercial or gush that is okay but please do not keep spamming the thread with the same post.

Please refrain from name calling and keep it civil. Remember we are here to share our experiences and help others.

Please NO DENTIST, Hotels or their employees post here.

I hope everyone much happiness and success with their dental work in Costa Rica no matter which dentist you use.

Palouse, WA

#2 Feb 7, 2012
I wanted to begin a thread since I have been asked to write a story on my dental tourism travels.

I wanted a clean thread where people can ask one another any questions regarding their about their dental tourism.

As I began looking for a dentist and traveling to Costa Rica I found another thread on topix. It was very long and to sort through it took much time.

After reading through the very long thread I believe it caused more stress and confusion than necessary due to sorting through which post were real and which were not.

I had 27 pages of questions mostly about travel in Costa Rica prior to taking my first trip in December. It had been pointed out that the thread is about Dentist not Dental Tourism.

All discussion and questions are welcome here regarding Dental Tourism just please do not attack one another!!

Since: Feb 12

Bronx, NY

#3 Feb 8, 2012
Hello,Lorna I'm new in this forum,in next year I'm going to CR for dental work ,would I have any problem if I be alone there(after the do dental ,implant ).Thanks for Your future suggestion.

Palouse, WA

#4 Feb 8, 2012
Sem63 welcome to the thread. Your question is a good one but a very hard one. I can understand your concern.

You can have a 100 people cross a street and 99 of them could make it across with no problems and 1 person might twist their ankle fall down and get hurt while crossing the street.

Many people do go to Costa Rica alone for implants and other dental tourism and do just fine. There is also a slim chance of reaction to antibiotics or other medications while you are there.

When I went an had five one step, immediate load, implants, two bone grafts, and multiple extractions this last December I did not go alone. I waited until my son was off from college and took him with me.

The dentist I used was Dr. Marco the son of Dr. Cavallini. If I had gone alone I would have stayed at the recovery center located above their office.

If I had chosen to use a different dentist and went alone I would have stayed at another Surgery Retreat Center for maybe three of four days after my surgery.

I was very pleasantly surprised how little pain I had after my bone grafts and implants. I had my work done on a Wednesday and Thursday and on Saturday I went Zip Lining for five hours with my son.

Will this be your first trip to Costa Rica? Have you ever had any implants before?

This was for me the first time I had an implant placed.

Ashland City, TN

#5 Feb 8, 2012
My wife and I are planning on a trip to CR at the end of Feb for dental implants (3 for my wife) and crowns for me (probably 13-17).
Dentavac prices seem high,
Dr Cavalini/Marco seem okay but there were very negative comments from a couple of years ago. but only a couple.
New Smile prices seemed okay.

Does anyone have any experiences with any of these or others?
romeo nguyen

Palatka, FL

#6 Feb 8, 2012
here too????
that's 74

Palouse, WA

#7 Feb 8, 2012

Please leave this thread if you wish to bring all of the nastiness and rudeness of the other thread over here. This thread is for people to HELP other people.

This is MY THREAD! Please stop or I will report you as abuse!

Midlothian, VA

#8 Feb 8, 2012
johnk wrote:
My wife and I are planning on a trip to CR at the end of Feb for dental implants (3 for my wife) and crowns for me (probably 13-17).
Dentavac prices seem high,
Dr Cavalini/Marco seem okay but there were very negative comments from a couple of years ago. but only a couple.
New Smile prices seemed okay.
Does anyone have any experiences with any of these or others?
My daughter had dental work with Dr. Eduardo Castro, and my husband went to Dr. Obando. Both dentists were outtanding. We were vey pleased with both dentists. If you want to pm me, I can share details, and if you want to talk to others, I can connect you with people that have been to Dr. Castro, Dr. Obando and Dr. Cavallini.

You'll pay $700-800 for a top quality Zimmer or Biomed 3i (2 step) implants,(which is what you'd get with a good dentist in the US) with Dr. Anglada or Obando. Dr. Obando charges $350 for a sinus lift. I think Anglada is a little less than that. I believe the crown for the implant with Dr. Obando is $700. How does that compare with Dentavac? If money is your primary consideration, Dr. Cavallini will definitely be cheaper.

Palouse, WA

#9 Feb 8, 2012
Dear Infoseeker,

Welcome to the thread! I know your heart is in the right place as we have had some private emails in the past. I have also emailed a few of Dr. Cavallinis patients that I have been in contact with prior to going to Costa Rica for my treatment to post on this thread about how their crowns are doing and their experience.

I know in the past on another you have shown your frustration at Dental Implant Forum

"I am hoping this thread will take off. The other topix thread is all but worthless for research purposes because of the lack of info regarding anyone other than Dr. Cavallini. "

This thread is open for any patients and honest discussion regarding any dentist in Costa Rica or any other information helpful to people desiring to travel there.

Again, welcome to the thread!!!!

Since: Feb 12

Palouse, WA

#10 Feb 9, 2012
johnk wrote:
My wife and I are planning on a trip to CR at the end of Feb for dental implants (3 for my wife) and crowns for me (probably 13-17).
Dentavac prices seem high,
Dr Cavalini/Marco seem okay but there were very negative comments from a couple of years ago. but only a couple.
New Smile prices seemed okay.
Does anyone have any experiences with any of these or others?
Welcome to the thread John and wife! I am sorry that I did not have a chance yet to post about my dental experience, the hotels, and other observations while I was there yet.

I know that some of the negative comments concerned me greatly. Sometimes it is very hard to weigh through them all and determine which are real from real people and which are not.

One thing I would personally take note of is if the post is from Costa Rica by a person living there could that post have possibly been made by another dentist office, or a disgruntled employee.

Drive By posters are another thing. One post and use my dentist and or this dentist is terrible is another thing that raised red flags.

While these posters may just be happy patients and just post one post it makes it to difficult to tell when there is so much deception going on out there.

There have also been post all around the web from a JohnM or John Marus. He is involved in the dental and medical tourism industry.

He does have sites and articles and is promoting Dentavac and/or some of the dentist there and has been doing so for years prior to posting negative stuff regarding Dr. Cavallini.

I had read and even received an email from a well meaning person that they do not use gloves at Dr. Cavallini's. This was not true in my or other peoples experience down there. I can give you my word that Dr. Marco and any and every technician that worked on me used gloves. thick skin color gloves.

I do not believe that there is one dentist without negative things written about them out there but as far as New Smile Clinic I found too many negative post with real names and too much detailed information that concerned me. That is not to say they don't have many happy patients but that is just my own perception.

At Dr. Cavallini's office they also use the Bio Medical made in the United States for the one stage and two stage Titanium Implants the cost are $500.00. New Smiles also use the same materials for implants.

I did not want to use Titanium Implants and I wanted to be metal free. Dr. Cavallini's office is one of the few down there that offer the Zirconium Dioxide Implants which have been used in Europe successfully for some time now. They are just beginning to offer them in the United States.

I personally wanted to use the less invasive one step or immediate load implants if I was a candidate for those. I saw on New Smiles website they also do the one-step, immediate load implants and boast of a high success rate. The overall failure rate is the same for one-step and immediate load implants.

Some dentist in Costa Rica are not comfortable doing those. So it is a matter of preference and I like having all those options available to me.

I hope someone who is a REAL patient of New Smiles can give you more honest insight with their dental experience.

I do not have my permanent crowns yet from Dr. Marco of Dr. Cavallini's office so I cannot give my own testimony on the feel and bite.

I have seen others and spoken with them and they have been happy. I am hoping that people from different stages of their work can come here and give you an honest assessment of their personal work and how it is holding up.

I have finally broken down and registered so others registered can send me a private mail. The name Lorna was taken so I will be posting as LornaCK from now on.

Since: Feb 12

Palouse, WA

#11 Feb 9, 2012
John have you or wife ever been to Costa Rica before or will this trip be your first time visiting there?

Have you decided what type of crowns you may want yet?

Since: Feb 12

Palouse, WA

#12 Feb 9, 2012

Can you tell us how long ago your daughter and your husband had there work done and what type of work was done? I know they went at different times.

This will give people a reference on how long the work has held up and they have been happy with it.

Cary USA


#13 Feb 9, 2012
Greetings: I just got back from a Costa Rica dental vacation 2 weeks ago. About 18 months ago, I had a full dental restoration done at a dentist in San Jose, and it turned out great. Sometimes, people like to hear from somebody who had dental work done a while ago and then find out how it all held up after some time has passed... so here I am 18 months later to report that all is well with my teeth... everything is tight, looks great and functions great.
Regardless of what U.S. Dentists (and their advocates) claim, that people should not leave the U.S. for dental treatment, it is my opinion that they make these criticisms so they don't lose business to dentists in Costa Rica (and other countries). I suspect they even load these blogs with phony postings that wrongly criticize good dentists in Costa Rica ... just so they can scare people, put doubt into their minds and then convince them to seek a U.S. dentist... this way they won't lose that business. I'm sure that there are great dentists in countries other than Costa Rica, but I have not been to dentists in countries besides U.S. and Costa Rica, so this is where I focus my discussion.
And I know there are lots of great dentists in the U.S. too, it's just that I can't afford them anymore. To get a full dental restoration in the U.S., I would have had to get a second mortgage on my house. And I want to help the U.S. economy and keep the business in the U.S., but I get that feeling that no matter how much the politicians flap their gums about how they "want to help us", in reality, I think that nobody is looking out for me .... so I went to Costa Rica, and with the money I saved, I can still help out my less fortunate fellow Americans by donating to some charities.
As for the tourism part of this equation, let's start with the airfares, as that can be one of the larger expenses (but does not have to be) of the trip. I get a great deal from Spirit Airlines, they fly to Costa Rica (in fact they fly all over Central America)... but Spirit is not listed on the typical flight booking search engines (they cut out the middle-man and it saves you money), you have to go directly to their website. I did however once get an unbelievable low fare, non-stop ticket on Continental Airlines, so check Spirit Airlines against the others, and if you happen to live near to one of their gateway cities, then you will most likely save a good chunk of money.
Best wishes, Cary

Chatsworth, CA

#14 Feb 9, 2012
hi all!
it's good to see a blog re:dental care in costa rica that will actually be moderated. thank you to the moderator for the extra work load you've kindly added to your life.

my dental work was completed over 3 years ago. i, too, used dr. cavallini and his son, dr. marco. 10 implants, 24 crowns, a serious dental surgery to remove a molar that had disintegrated under an old gold crown, gum revision that was done with kindness, compassion and remarkably little pain.

as the moderator and a couple of the other posters know, i had gone to c.r. after choosing a c.r. dentist who tripled his estimate when i got into his chair. our agreement was for $12,500 for all work. i had sent him panoramic xrays (panos) and that time we believed that 2 sinus lifts, 4 implants and 20 crowns were necessary. that's what the u.s. dentist & prosthodontist told me and what the c.r. dentist agreed was necessary.

in the chair, he said the $12,500 was for his work but the crowns would be an additional $26,000. i immediately left and began a search for a new dentist. after visiting about 60 dental offices in san jose, i chose dr. cavallini's office and have not been sorry in any way. all the work i had with dr. cavallini was under the $12,500 and sinus lifts were totally unnecessary. he was the only one who said so and he was absolutely correct.

i agree with the moderator of this blog. there are many dentists in costa rica (i am only familiar with those in and around san jose) who are excellent. to be honest, i believe you will have the opportunity to receive better quality care and service there than in the u.s.

here, dentists run you through an assembly line and have minimal personal time for getting to know you and your individual needs/ fears/attitudes. in c.r., they have procedures that may be 10 years ahead of those used in the u.s. the equipment in c.r. is cutting edge. i have to laugh when i hear someone say that the implants are inferior in c.r. to those in the u.s. there are only a few makers of dental implants. their products may go by various names but they are what they are whether in the u.s. or in c.r. the implants used by the better dental offices in c.r. are top notch. i include the drs. marco (father and son are both marco's) in the top notch offices.

each dental office has its own personality. i enjoyed the personality of the cavallini offices and visited the offices during a later vacation trip just to absorb the energy and enjoy meeting the people from all over the world in the waiting room. i never minded the wait in the offices. if i didn't want to wait, i'd let them know i'd be back at whatever time and i'd go off to enjoy the zoo or the central market, whatever.

i've been back to c.r. since the work was completed as a tourist and will be going back again for fun. i would be happy to share info on whatever you would like to know, good or bad, touristy or dental (whether cavallini or some other offices), safety or fun. the country is very welcoming and safe as your own home town can be if you use your head. my email is

you'll be glad you went to c.r.!

Since: Feb 12

Avenel, NJ

#15 Feb 9, 2012
Hi Lorna, Your advise to stay in recovery room center make sense since i need extensive dental work.Thank You and good luck with your dental.

Since: Feb 12

Moscow, ID

#16 Feb 10, 2012

Thank you on the well wishes. Best luck to you for a successful dental trip. I hope you post your experience here with all the good and bad and helpful information when you go.

If you have any other questions I or others would be more than happy to answer them regarding your dental tourism.

Since: Feb 12

Moscow, ID

#17 Feb 10, 2012
Dear Cary and Jerry6665 thank you so very much for posting here. I know you both went to Costa Rica long before I did.

I appreciate you posting your experience and how you are doing.

Carry why did you go back recently to Costa Rica? Did you have any issues with your dental work that Dr. Cavallini took care of under warranty or did you just go for check up?

romeo nguyen

Palatka, FL

#18 Feb 10, 2012
10/17 post...wowwww

Since: Feb 12

Atlanta, GA

#19 Feb 11, 2012
Apologies, but I don't understand the previous post. What does 10/17 mean?

Since: May 11

Lynnwood, WA

#20 Feb 11, 2012
Ducksoop wrote:
Apologies, but I don't understand the previous post. What does 10/17 mean?
I believe what Romeo is referring to is that out of 17 post in this thread 10 have been by Lora, 10 out of 17 or 10/17, seems a little childish.

Hey Lora,

What happened ? I thought you met Romeo face to face in CR ? He seems to be going out of his way to express his displeasure with your postings. What's up ?

Tell me when this thread is updated:

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