Trip to the dentist in Curribatat…Good toll roads…GPS issues…

Tom, walking toward the dental clinic. It didn’t seem to be in a great neighborhood with bars on windows and doors, but we felt comfortable.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

We couldn’t see the eclipse of the sun here in Costa Rica, but we sure had a lovely sunset.

We’re never thrilled with the necessity of visiting a dentist. Who is? I suppose, in a way, we use our world travels as an excuse to postpone dental appointments based on the inconvenience of finding an English-speaking dentist and finding a clinic we find suitable. No doubt, it’s undoubtedly a case of avoidance in one way or another.

When we made plans to stay in Costa Rica for over three months, we knew we’d have a hard time coming up with an excellent excuse to avoid going to a dentist when this country is known for its good dental care at reasonable prices. So what reason would we have now?  None.

Shortly after we arrived three weeks ago today, we made our appointments with a dental clinic with nine highly trained and qualified dentists, most of whom were trained in the US and recommended by our property manager, Marian.

Two of the dentists contemplating a patient’s treatment.

Many foreigners travel from the US and other countries to have their dental work done at prices as low as one-third the cost in the US. This makes sense for seniors on fixed incomes, especially when flights are reasonable from the US to Costa Rica, along with affordable hotel rates and costs for meals.

No more than a minute after we arrived (early, of course) at the Costa Rica Dental Clinic Lab found at this site, we felt comfortable and at ease that we had come to the right place. 

We met an American from Texas who was completing an entire mouth restoration, priced at US $50,000 (CRC 28,823,500) for which he was paying only US $15,000 (CRC 8,647,050) at the Costa Rica Dental Clinic Lab. He’d been flying back and forth over the past many months to have the massive amount of work done and was thrilled with the quality work and competent dentists.

This is the dentist who did a fine job on my filling and cleaning.  I’ve always dreaded dental appointments but did fine without numbing injections.

A short while later, we met a woman from Maryland, US, who’d also been flying back and forth to have considerable work done at reasonable prices. In each case, the “tourists” enjoyed their time in Costa Rica whenever they returned for more dental work. This made sense to us.

The last time we had our teeth cleaned was on July 30, 2015, as shown in this post, for which we were content with the results. The pricing and details are described at the above link.

While in Maui for six weeks, we’d booked cleaning appointments for November 4, 2014, for both of us. Once we arrived at the facility, Tom felt surprisingly uncomfortable. Something just wasn’t right.  They’d moved our appointments around, requiring a long wait.  We canceled, unwilling to wait for the extended period, especially when Tom was so hesitant. See here for details.

This is the lovely Geovanna, who works with patients in the office, appointments, and billing and makes arrangements for hotels and transportation.

Later Tom had the abscessed tooth situation in Fiji in November 2015, requiring treatment on two separate occasions which resulted in the necessity of the tooth eventually being pulled in New Zealand in early 2016.  As a result of all of the above, we hadn’t had our teeth cleaned in 25 months, and it was long overdue. 

Yesterday morning after picking up the rental car at the outdoor cafe at the grocery store, Supermercado Coopeatenas, promptly at 10:00 am as Aad had arranged for us for a total of five days. Although we were a little surprised by the US $1250 (CRC 720,588) deposit required, the paperwork went quickly and smoothly. 

It seemed like a huge deposit for a five-day rental. However, with our appointments set in Curribadat for 1:00 pm, we accepted the terms and paid the US $167.50 (CRC 96,559) plus the deposit.

The dental office has a pleasant modern decor.

In no time at all, we were on our way, paper copies of directions in hand plus GPS directions on my phone using the SIM card. I don’t know if this has ever happened to any of our readers, but once we were within a few miles of our destination, the GPS kept changing, telling us to go another way, after another, and then another.

Poor Tom was driving and trying to stay calm. I’d say, “Turn left here! No, turn right in two kilometers at Calle 42!  No, turn right in 400 meters! No, make a u-turn now!” Later we discovered that google maps had an error regarding the clinic, showing it has two locations when it only has one. Most likely, that contributed to the crazy directions.

Oh, good grief, I don’t know how he maintained his cool while I went helter-skelter with the directions. The paper map was useless.  Finally, 30 minutes later than we expected to arrive, we found the dental clinic. Good thing we’d left as early as we did for the 1:00 pm appointments.

Geovanna stays busy ensuring each patient’s dental experience is top-notch.

In any case, the dentists were great, speaking excellent English.  The receptionist and dental assistant, Geovanna, was fabulous; warm, friendly, and inviting. The clinic was impeccably clean and organized, and from the two patients we spoke to, we were totally at ease.

I had one filling repaired, and both of us had our teeth cleaned with better results than either of us had ever experienced, even in the US. The total bill for both was US $250 (CRC 144,118), certainly much less than it would have been in the US or many other countries.

The drive back to Atenas was easy, and once we returned to our gated community, we drove up the mountains to see the many areas we’d been curious to see which were too steep to walk. This area is lovely, more than we’d expected from our comfy world in the exquisite villa overlooking the valley.

We ran into lots of traffic on the return drive.  Curridabat is close to the capital city of San Jose.

Today, as soon as we’re done uploading today’s post, we’re off to the market to get the remaining ingredients needed for tonight’s meal, Low Carb Chicken Pot Pie (please email me if you’d like the recipe), a favorite of ours and, to purchase groceries we’ll need for the balance of the week.

Tomorrow, after posting and weather permitting, we’ll be heading to an exciting and popular tourist venue. We’ll be back with more new photos.

Have a fabulous day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 22, 2016:

We took this photo at a local resort in Phuket. The placement of hands, Mudras, 
as gestures in Buddhism is explained here. For more details from that day’s post,
please click here.

Comments and responses Trip to the dentist in Curribatat…Good toll roads…GPS issues…

  1. Anonymous Reply

    Hi Jess and Tom

    When is Tom getting his 3 fillings fixed you mentioned in yesterdays post.


  2. Jessica Reply

    Hi, Vikki! Good question. As it turned out, Tom had two fillings to consider and based on the fact they are both wisdom teeth, he decided against doing crowns. The two teeth are crowded and will eventually need to be pulled. He decided to wait for now since neither of them are bothering him.

    We can always find a dentist when he has an issue with them.

    Hope you both are doing well.

    Great hearing from you.

    Much love,
    Jess & Tom

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