To be fair I had neglected my own dental care. I had had a couple of implants and some crowns to try to straighten some front crooked teeth, without much success, that was over twenty years ago.
But in my seventies I felt the beginning of two front teeth starting to wear on the back. I let it go until they were so bad and worn down that I knew I had to do something.
I knew I needed two crowns for sure. I thought while I was about it I would have veneers on the other six front upper teeth, a matched set. I had already done quite a bit of research on cosmetic surgery Costa Rica, so I was comfortable with their level of services. And that most dentists and cosmetic surgeons are US board certified. I contacted several services, some did not even bother to get back to me. One that did was an International Patient Coordinator with Costa Rica Dental Guide. I failed to respond, I just was not ready. But he followed up, no pressure and overtime I got to feel comfortable with him. When I was ready he informed me of the dentist he recommended, Dr. Garita.
I was told I would need at least five working days for my procedure. Two crowns and six veneers. I arrived in Costa Rica on Sunday for a 10am. appointment on Monday.
I arrived at 10.am. His staff were personable and accommodating. One of the other dentists drove me to another facility for 3D imaging. I paid an extra $20. For that, but it was worth it. Dr. Garita had a complete image of my total mouth and teeth. So he knew exactly what needed to be done. He checked the strength of my bite and explained that as I had a very strong bite, veneers would not be appropriate. He also explained that I should go with the strongest type of material. Zirconia with porcelain. There was no difference in price, except crowns would be more expensive than veneers, but not by much. I had already determined crowns would be much longer lasting. We agreed.
He started the prep work. Removing the existing three crowns that I suspect was the hardest part. He had given me local anesthetic so I could feel nothing. What had originally felt was it would take Monday and part of Tuesday for prep. Monday afternoon after four hours, prep was completed and I left his office with temporary teeth, which I thought looked pretty good.
I must point out, Dr. Garita s facility is well equipped and spotless. His rooms are light and spacious with modern equipment and a spectacular view over the park.
Tuesday was a free day. As I had not heard anything more. I called Wednesday morning to get an update. I was told my crowns would be back from the lab at 5pm. And they would fit them at that time. I spent around an hour while he made adjustments to make sure they were comfortable. It is quite remarkable how they produce the crowns. Once in I still had the protruding front teeth. He explained that as the crown is mounted over the offending teeth they would sit exactly the same. But they took more molds so that the lab can mount the crowns as though they were in my mouth. At that point they would build up the offending crown to match the one beside it. At that time they would also match the color I had chosen.
Next morning, Thursday I was asked to be at the office at 1.30 for the final fitting and cementing. Once everything was cemented. We looked at them. On the two front teeth there was a slight imperfection. My thought was to leave it as it made them totally natural. I didn’t think he was comfortable with that, so I took a photo and texted it to my wife for opinion. She agreed with Dr. Garita. By mid afternoon I had my new teeth. They were comfortable and completely natural. Natural to the point that I don’t even look at them in the mirror. I am glad I stayed the extra day just in case I needed an adjustment. But everything was fine. The worst part was having the cement removed from around the gums and between the teeth. But it was also an important part.
Dr. Garita explained everything. From day one I was extremely comfortable with Dr. Garita, his staff and facility. Next year I will return for my lower teeth. I would recommend him to anyone, feel comfortable and completely at ease and know you will get a first class job, that like me will exceed your expectations
Time spent at the office, less than eight hours total over five days. Cost. Including air fare and accommodation for 6 nights and food. $600. Per crown. Cost in US. I was quoted by my dentist. $950-1300 per tooth and two weeks to finish.
On a side note, after my return my wife and I were talking to a friend who like my wife has perfect teeth. We were talking about my having the crowns. I remarked that I had never known two women with such natural perfect teeth. She nodded her head and said, “no, these are veneers” we were in shock. She then told us her husband had veneers on his lower teeth. But because he grinds his teeth he has been told they will have to be replaced with crowns. Six crowns, $6000. He hasn’t had them done yet so I will take him with me next time I go. Glad Dr. Garita suggested I stay away from veneers.