5.0 from 6 verified reviews I couldn't be more pleasedMiles, Canada, 18 11 20
Before I begin, readers need to know that my family, friends, and associates know me as a chronically grumpy, cranky, loud critic. I've never been accused of handing out compliments lightly.
Years ago, my mouth, from what I was informed had absorbed some rare bacteria and become destroyed. It eventually became what can only be described as a "toxic dump." Not being wealthy, I researched (all-on-four implants for upper/lower) where I live, in Canada, the US (I'm a dual citizen), Argentina, Vietnam, Australia, etc., and of course, Mexico. I was extremely disappointed. I was evaluated locally with X-rays, etc., but then I'd be led into a tiny booth, and clearly, it was like I was buying some overpriced used car with not even a written statement of what I was going to receive. The obscene cost and their emotionally manipulative strategies were just plain offensive. I have modest savings. But mostly, I have no time for people I don't find trustworthy.
I began communicating with multiple dental clinics in CR (Costa Rica). 'One clinic stood out like a "four-leaf clover" -- Urzola Dentistry. The administrator went back and forth with me by email, answering very tough questions. He was straight up, no-nonsense, honest, and after a week or so, we came to a detailed agreement.
After flights, accommodations, travel insurance, and lots of rigamarole, I was met, as the clinic insisted, by someone with my name on a sign at the CR airport - 'good thing because San Jose driving is an "adventure." I smartly reserved a rental car for my third day. The very friendly driver took me to my accommodations that I made certain were within 15 minutes of the clinic.
The next day, I'm picked up again, and we arrive at the tall building across the street from San Jose stadium. The building security only allows medical personnel or patients. Everyone entering is also required to follow strict medical measures for the safety of all. I think, "Hmmm. 'A good start."
The driver escorts me up to the clinic. A wonderful lady, Adriana greets me. Shortly after, a man in scrubs comes out and introduces himself. Within seconds, I wish this guy was my next-door neighbor. He's real - genuinely friendly. No BS. It's Doctor Urzola.
He takes me into the surgery room, and I get a detailed, thorough run-through of the next day/week schedule. He answers every pesky question I have. I am getting more relieved. Maybe, this won't wind up being something I deeply regret. I meet his very courteous, obviously very competent assistants, the same Adriana, and also Francheska. All three are making me feel more confident right away. It's not some Kumbaya.
Everything is in the same building. Yes, just like the commercials you see on TV for other implant companies, the ones that charge a fortune.
The Anesthetist prefers I not only not eat anything but also no fluids for 12 hours. It's unusual, and yet, again, I'm quite impressed. My medical safety is their first priority. 'Excellent.
The next day I'm picked up and arrive for surgery. All the equipment is completely state of the art. Without even asking, Doc Urzola shows me my three-dimensional X-rays. Crazy accurate. And then, he demonstrates how he can take every single section of both upper and lower jaws where he is able to know exactly where he can place the metal inserts. He explains, while I watch, what length/width of insert he can choose for each particular section - the lines he draws display minute measurements. I have taught complicated software at a major University in Canada. I see Dr Urzola show off this software, specifically with my 3D image, and I am utterly impressed. The jaw inserts are what the implants will be secured to.
It's time. I am monitored, with all equipment throughout that you would find in any hospital - pulse-ox, BP, etc., by the Anesthetist who gives me sedation. This is when the Doc and his team do what they do - focus like a laser and do their magic. I like professionals who know what they’re doing and just use the years of experience, along with a clear commitment to complete the mission. For a sceptic like me, I know I am in excellent hands.
When done, a couple of hours or so, I am ready to chill and driven back to my accommodations. There's a reason for that. Don't believe that nonsense on TV commercials of "done in one day." This dental clinic intelligently spans the first process over 4/5 days.
It's normal to go through a few days of some swelling. The Doc has gone over with me what antibiotics supplied (if needed), mild yet quite efficient pain killers for a few days. 'Normal. He's very detailed. Trust him. Follow his advice.
The next day I discover, to my delight, examples of the prosthetics - teeth. They are stunningly natural-looking. Doc Urzola works with me closely, and he was right to convince me on a specific shade that matched my skin colour, and so forth. Perfect.
A couple of days later, I get a temporary implant put in. Amazing. I get the next week off, head to the coast at a beautiful guest house, then come into the clinic on my airline travel back day for a final check and any adjustments - some minor grinding to get the "bite" at a premium condition. All included.
I am back in four months; once my jaw bone has naturally merged with the inserts. At that point, new impressions are made; then, I will have the permanents. The permanents are exactly the same ultra-high, even stronger quality that you will find anywhere in the world at any price. I know.
I have experienced Dentures. I wouldn't wish them on any person. And if you look closely at Denture costs and the constant adjustments; the Urzola clinic can deliver actual implants for about the same price (completely different, comfortable, no gagging, adhesives -- you can actually taste the food, etc.). Dentures can be a nightmare.
So. Did I find that I saved tens of thousands of dollars and yet, discovered the proverbial, "You get what you pay for?" No way. I got the best, dignified communications, safe medical care, precise procedures, patient care, stunning workmanship, and ultimately, top-quality prosthetic elements. I couldn't be more pleased.
I also, on my time off there, discovered the people of Costa Rica. No, I didn't do something stupid like park my rental car in a back alley and walk out there alone in the middle of the night. Uh, no! You nor I would do that in whatever country you live in -- right? I walked in CR neighbourhoods. I drove slowly (respectful of people/dogs/cats in busy small streets – the local's notice) – I said hi to complete strangers outside some tiny market, and all I found was the most hard-working, friendly, and helpful people I have ever met. I was greeted back with a big smile - and then, with my pathetic Spanish and hand signals, they would lead me to something I wanted to buy.
I never ever once felt afraid in Costa Rica.
The CR people, "Ticos" are one of a kind. Unique, hospitable, helpful, and also, quite funny. They love a good laugh!
The point? I'm not writing here that Urzola Dentristy is excellent, but of course, Costa Rica is a scary place, so be afraid. NO! Exactly the opposite.
Dr Urzola, his team – Adriana and Francheska, administrators, including the Anesthetist, Lab technicians, are people I sincerely like and respect; I also trust them implicitly. I can't wait to get back in four months.
And there's a bonus. I get to be among the Ticos again, with my “permanent” smile back.