OCI Dental Clinic in Guanacaste, Costa Rica [Interview]

Please introduce yourself

Dr. Roberto Salazar Umaña, OCI Dental Clinic. I am a Doctor in Dental Surgery (General Dentist), active member of the Costarican National Dental Surgeons Board. I have vast experience working with foreigners, such as expatriates and visitors; from the US, Canada, Europe and rest of the world. I worked as a full time dentist in Roatan Island in Honduras.

Please note this is an organization that consists of 3 clinics spread all over Guanacaste province in Costa Rica, in each of the clinics there is a full time D.D.S and besides we have a full crew of specialists for specific cases.

How long have you been in business?

OCI Dental has been on business for more than 15 years.

Need Dental Treatment? Get a free consultation with OCI Dental Clinic.

How many dental implant procedures have you done?

Dr. José Solano (Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon) is the one in charge of placing the dental implants in our clinic. Dr. Solano places around 500 implants per year and has been in the business for 8 years so far, giving an approximate total of 4000 implants. He has a success rate of 98%.

Where do most of your patients come from?

Insurance companies (local and foreign through a local one). Dental tourists from USA, Canada and Europe.

What procedures do you typically recommend and perform?

Depends on the patient and its needs and conditions. It is always better to replace a root or missing tooth(eeth) with implant(s) than performing bridges or dentures. Instead of a bridge have an implant replace the missing tooth. Instead of a denture have an All on four complete replacement.

What type of implants does your clinic use?

Zimmer Dental (made in USA)

Please give me a summary of the steps of getting an implant at your clinic.

–         Normal Case:

  1. Implant is screwed. Wait time 4 months.
  2. Healing cap is placed. Wait time 3 weeks.
  3. Dental impression taken. Wait time 1 week.
  4. Final crown glued.

–       Extraction or surgical pre treatment and bone graft placement prior

  1. Extraction done. Bone graft and collagen membrane placed. 3 months waiting time
  2. Implant is screwed. Wait time 4 months.
  3. Healing cap is placed. Wait time 3 weeks.
  4. Dental impression taken. Wait time 1 week.
  5. Final crown glued.

Can you please provide a quick description of the surgical procedure at your clinic?

All the instruments to be used are previously sterilized. The surgical room and environment previously disinfected. All the biological cares and standard procedures are taken (complete asepsis). An incision is done over the gum zone and the gum is lifted in order to expose the bone.

The bone is drilled with special burs to give the specific configuration to the bone and then the implant is finally screwed. The gum is put back to place and stitched. Months later the healing cap is placed and the rest of the treatment continued.

How much do your procedures cost?

$900 for the implant surgery and the implant, including the healing cap.

$550 for the implant crown

What payment methods do you accept?

Cash (costarican colones or US$), cheques, credit or debit card (American Express too). We offer dental insurance plans and financing for expatriates residing in the zone.

How many trips to Costa Rica are required?

Around 2 to 4 depending on the case. In a normal straight forward case where there is enough bone and there is no previous extraction done the implant is screwed. Then 4 months pass by for the implant to fully integrate to the bone.

After that period a healing cup is screwed on the implant to let the gingival tissue to rebuild in the right shape during 3 weeks. And finally dental impressions are done to perform the final crown in a period of 1 to 2 weeks.

If a bone graft is needed then there is an extra 3 months waiting time before the implant placement. And if a sinus lift is needed before all this then more appointments are needed.

What do advise your patients to do if they have a problem with their implant?

Local guarantee, if they have any issue they would be in the need of traveling to Costa Rica. Local guarantee of 6 months (period for the implant to integrate fully to the bone, by then you can tell if the implant succeeded or not) and another 6 months guarantee for the crown seated over the implant. So far nobody has had the need to travel back due to failure.

Where do your patients stay while they are getting an implant done?

We offer full packages with stay included in great local hotels that have pool, a/c, bed and breakfast, cable tv, etc. If the customer asks for an international hotel the reservation can be facilitated by us, but the hotel charge is covered by the patient.

It it safe in Costa Rica?

It is the safest country in Central America with the lowest murder and criminality rates. Nevertheless, safety precautions should always be taken (don´t expose yourself, ask for guidance)

Does a patient need to be able to speak Spanish?

Guanacaste is a touristic place, thus it is an English speaking tourist friendly zone. Handling Spanish would ensure being able to communicate everywhere.

What is there to do in your city?

Zipline, bungee jumping, Africa Mia Zoo, many beaches, surfing, volcanoes, sightseeing, trails, different tours.

What is the best time of year to travel to Costa Rica?

Sunny season in Guanacaste is being experiences throughout the whole year. Mild rain from August to November.

What are the best places to eat in your area? Where can a patient get authentic Costa Rican cuisine?

All around Guanacaste you will find “comida tipica” places. In Liberia, Toro Negro is very well known.

Contact OCI Dental Clinic

Have a question or inquiry? Click the green button to get in touch with OCI Dental Clinic.

OCI Dental Clinic Tamarindo
Rotonda Tamarindo, Frente a restaurante Walter´s Santa Cruz, Costa Rica, Tamarindo 50309, Costa Rica

Mon-Fri: 09:00am – 18:00pm
Sat: 09:00am – 14:00pm
Sun: Closed

Guide to Getting Dental Treatment Abroad
If so, click the green button below to check out the Complete Guide to Getting Dental Treatment Abroad and learn:
  • How to find a dentist you can trust
  • What costs to take into consideration
  • What destinations offer the best value

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