Day One, Phase Two of my Dental Journey

I’m back in San Jose, Costa Rica!  Literally, sitting in the waiting room, thank goodness for open wi-fi!  I’m prepared this time around, books, computer, water and my hotel is immediately next door to the dentist office, so I can come and go quite easily, no taxi’s necessary.

I’ll go back a bit.  The idea of returning to Costa Rica now instead of August came about on Friday, after calling the dentist, they said c’mon down and let’s finish the work. I guess 4 months is enough time to allow for osseointegration.  Here’s some pretty basic but good information on dental implants.

So,  although my original flight was scheduled for end of July, a phone call and a credit card and American Airlines had me on a plane within a couple of days.   Actual flying time about 7 hours from Boston, actual travel time, around 11 hours. Interesting note, I wouldn’t have been able to see my local NH dentist this soon, she doesn’t have Monday office hours!

I’m staying at the Hotel Cacts, it’s  basic, nothing fancy here at all, but for convenience, if you can’t stay at the Dental Care Recovery Center, it’s about as close to this dentist as you can get.  They have free breakfast, typically scrambled eggs, beans and rice, toast, lots of fresh fruit and great coffee!  There’s a small pool as well.  These are private rooms with private bath (actually showers), around $52 US a night.  Not bad.  I was a little concerned that there isn’t any air conditioning, but the ceiling fan seems to take care of things just fine!  Steve and I toured the Hotel Cacts when we were here this past January, so we had an idea of what it looked like. Here’s an oddity we didn’t realize, they have a dining area with what appears to be a full bar….surprise surprise, all the bottles are empty!  No kidding! It’s just for show!  That doesn’t prevent the guests from bringing their own though!  One thing about staying near the clinic, you make new friends who are in the same dental boat as you are!  My hotel ‘neighbors’, Sylvia, Nadine and Sharon are an awesome bunch of ladies from Canada. Nadine is going through a full mouth restoration, Sharon’s getting a consult on replacing a removable bridge with implants and Sylvia’s already been through the work and is here to give moral support to her friends.  We’re already talking about a YaYa weekend after we’re all through all this, you can bet we’ll all have awesome toothy grins if we do it and take pictures!

Room at Hotel Cacts (taken w/my phone, too much of a mess to try to retake the picture now!)

hotel cacts the bar of empty bottles










So, today, I showed up at the dentist office for my first appointment at 9 am, waited about an hour then spent about 100 minutes in the dental chair. The work I had done this morning: updated panoramic x-ray, removal of temporary bridges, removal of old crowns, a couple of posts to strengthen the latest root canal, and lots of impressions, all in preparation for me to go home with 8 shiny new crowns (porcelain crowns are $250 US each  in Costa Rica).  Left for lunch  and returned at 3 to get my temporary bridges.  I’m actually writing part of this from one of the waiting rooms, where we  have patients from California, Hawaii, New York, New Hampshire and Quebec.  A Multinational waiting room, but the stories are all the same.  Crazy prices quoted to individuals in their home countries of Canada and the United States, and many satisfied patients, in all different phases of their treatment, sitting in this San Jose waiting room, feeling like, for the first time, they’re not getting ripped off by a dentist. Instead we all feel like we are getting quality compassionate care and we haven’t had to mortgage our homes to get it.  Wow!

Back to my treatment, this afternoon, they fitted the crown templates; 8 molds, one by one, had to be fitted to the teeth/implants in my mouth. Tomorrow, those molds will be casted into metal molds and they’ll check the fit once again before sending them to the labs for porcelain crowns. The two temporary bridges they ‘installed’ span the upper left and lower right of my jaw, 5 teeth on each side.  They too, had to be ‘tweaked’ to fit.  So about an hour in the chair tonight, no Novocaine though, thankfully!  They tell me I might have a day ‘off’ on Wednesday, we’ll see!  I would love to see outside San Jose, see what Costa Rica really looks like!

Till tomorrow.



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