Contemplating an All on 4 or All on 6 in Mexico or Costa Rica. Any Advice or Recommendations? Chose Costa Rica.

I have been researching having an all on 4 or all...

I have been researching having an all on 4 or all on 6 on my lower jaw. I am not able to afford the costs here in the USA so I am looking at other options being in Mexico or Costa Rica. I have tried to read as many reviews as possible online for the dentists that are recommended and also those that are not. I have received a number of quotes to date after having sent them a panoramic x-ray. I would like to hear from anyone that has had this procedure done in Mexico or Costa Rica.. Thanks.

Still Waiting

Still waiting for my house to sell before I can move ahead with the implants.

Finally moving forward.

Well it has been nearly a year since I was looking at having my implants done. Finally I am in a position to actually move forward and get an appointment and book my travel there. I have decided on Costa Rica.
I will update as things progress.

Finally Booked my Trip!

Well, I have finally booked my trip to San Jose, Costa Rica for my all on 6 dental implants. Upper and lower.
I am suppose to leave on November 15th and return November 22nd. I am also taking a friend for support as for one I have never been to Costa Rica before and I am terrified of dentists.
I am going to Dr Marco Cavallini. At least that is the plan?.
I booked only yesterday and today I get an email with a price from the dentist which exceeds my budget and well over what I had been told before. Also he asked for me to have more time there than originally told. It was 5 working days for the first visit but he has changed it to 7?? I am in a panic!!!
I am hoping it can be worked out and all will be okay????
I will keep you posted and when I move forward - hopefully - I will start posting photos.

Photos before

It is under 3 weeks before I arrive in Costa Rica for my first visit. I am nervous. I have an appointment for Monday 16th at 8am.
I have never been to Costa Rica so the whole experience is new to me.
I am posting my first photos showing before.
My gums as shown are very deteriorated almost showing roots on some teeth. I have a broken tooth at the back and another tooth that is very loose. My upper is a denture I got nearly 10 years ago and have never got use to.
I will keep you posted when I get there with any updates.

I am in Costa Rica

15th Nov, 2015.
I arrived late Sunday to San Jose, Costa Rica after many delays in flights. It was a long day.
I had my first appointment at Dr Marco Cavallini's clinic at 8am Monday.
On arrival they get you to fill out the normal paperwork, then they do a panoramic x-ray, and also do impressions of your teeth. This was all done by 9.20am and I was told I then had a consultation with Dr Marco at 11am.
Being that there was some free time to wait, my friend and I went to walk a few blocks up the road to go to the bank. After walking just a block and a half away, I was robbed by a man on a motorcycle who ripped 2 chains and pendants from around my neck. This was a terrifying experience. We went to a police station opposite the dentist, however they said we had to go to the city center to report it. He offered to take us but it was more important that I have my 11am appointment with the dentist and I would go after that.
We went back to the dentist and it was explained what had happened. They were so wonderful, caring and very sympathetic.
I saw Dr Marco Jnr at my consultation and he explained the whole procedure to me of what would be happening. He made me feel very much at ease and really took his time to answer any questions and make sure that I understood the procedure. I felt I had absolute confidence in him. He also gave me a prescription for pain killers and antibiotics that would be needed during the procedures and they have an onsite pharmacy that dispenses them.
After that we went to the police to file our report of which took nearly 7 hours, so an exhausting day. Apparently robberies like this are quite common, so wear no jewelry and do not carry a hand bag or valuables. Be very cautious.
My next appointment was for 9am Tuesday and I was not to eat or drink for 6 hours prior as I was going to go under for the procedure. This operation was to do the sinus bone grafts and put the implant posts in my upper jaw. They only put 5 in instead of 6, but I was told they will probably do the 6th one tomorrow when I have the lower jaw done. This procedure took 2 1/2 hours. All the staff were very caring during everything and Dr Marco especially.
Following that we returned to the hotel until we had to go back a little later in the afternoon to have my emergency bridge fitted. I found it very ill fitting, too wide and just too big, however as it was just an emergency one I accepted it until I got back there again to have it done a little better. The emergency ones are not the ones that you go home with.
Overall for the first operation I felt pretty good and a lot better than I thought I would. Well that was short lived as that night, sleeping upright as you have to keep elevated, I woke up around 4am with pain in my sinus cavities. I took 2 ibuprofen to ease it and got some ice to put on it. I happened to look in the mirror and my face was swollen. A few hours later I felt so cold I was shivering for about 20 minutes. I finally warmed up and drifted of to sleep for a few hours.

It is still Wednesday today and I have an appointment at 3pm to have my teeth removed from my lower jaw and then have the 6 implants put in. I am a little concerned that with the swelling of my sinuses if it will be possible? I will keep you posted when I am able.

2nd Implants done

Today is Friday and I was suppose to have had my lower implants done Wednesday but I did not due to the swelling.
I have noticed that my swelling is very slowly starting to go down today.
Wednesday they gave me additional antibiotics with anti-inflammatory liquid through a drip to speed up the healing. I was told this is not unusual and everyone reacts differently.
As my appointment was at 3pm Wednesday in the afternoon and you are unable to eat or drink for 6 hours prior to the operation, I was feeling pretty dehydrated by this time. I was then re-scheduled for another appointment Thursday at 11am to have the 2nd surgery.
Thursday I woke up to see that my swelling was even worse.(You must put ice on it constantly as this helps considerably). I felt for sure they would cancel the operation again. I went along to my appointment and was re-assured that all was okay, Sometimes it can be worse on the 3rd day before it starts to go down. They said all would be okay to go ahead with doing the lower jaw.
I was put under again - thankfully!!!!, and I had my teeth removed and 6 implants inserted plus one bone graft as I did not have enough bone in one area.
Following that rather than go back to the hotel and wait, we stayed at the dentist while they were making the emergency teeth. I was taken in and they had to drill the top of 2 of the implants to level them which terrified me. Although it did not hurt it was the drill that scared me. I must add I am the VERY worst patient a dentist can have as I am absolutely terrified of dentists, drills etc and cry, shake etc.. and Dr Marco has been nothing but patient and very caring and helping me through this. He has set me at ease on so many occasions through this whole process and I am very grateful.
Well, I finally got the emergency teeth. They do not feel comfortable but at least they are there so I have something before they make and fit the temporary ones that I will go home with. You cannot chew with them and where I still have stitches from the sinus implants they are not covered.
We did not get back to the hotel until 8.45pm, so always be prepared for a long day and be patient.
Some advice. When eating, stay with soups, suck on cheese, soft eggs, anything protein is recommended, juices etc. You can dunk some bread in your soup also. Mashed potato. You must sleep elevated at night and put ice on your face as often as possible.
They do prescribe meds before the procedures giving you antibiotics, pain killers/anti-inflammatory, and meds for the anesthesia if you are having this.
Today I have an appointment at 3pm to start getting the temporary teeth fitted and done so I can leave hopefully Sunday to go home. I will keep you posted again when I can.
As far as costs go, I will also explain that after this trip and break it down. Prices can vary from person to person depending on their needs, but at least I will be able to give a better idea after this trip is completed explaining what my costs were for. They do give up front costs to you as guidelines when you first inquire so they do not hide anything.
To date I do feel confident I have made the right decision in choosing Dr Marco Cavallini.

Back Home

I am back safely at home after flying back Sunday. I wanted to wait to complete the review for this 1st trip to see how the healing process went.
Picking up where I last left of when i was getting my temporary teeth fitted. This took quite some time. Like I have said before, you will need patience.
When they brought the teeth to me at first, they had taken a tooth of my upper bridge that had been jutting into my cheek before. This horrified me as you could see the gap. The 2 bridges also did not meet properly. They did fix these things. They do try to make them as comfortable as possible for you but you have to realize that you have a different bite now too. I had to have parts of the implants drilled so they were all level which terrified me too. Scared of drills, but it did not hurt. I did not have any teeth put where my molars were as there was stitches here and they needed to heal, so I only have them at the front. At the end of it, they felt cumbersome and uncomfortable. I thought that this would feel better as my swelling and feeling subsided. You cannot bite or chew!!!!. I did not expect this to the degree that it is, so be prepared. I understand the reasoning though as the implants need to heal and you cannot put any pressure in them. Meanwhile for the next 5 months (until I am due back for the final bridges), I have to eat soft foods. Again, soups etc. Pretty much up to what a baby can eat. I have to cut everything small and I am able to use my tongue and push food up to the roof of my mouth to grind food down to swallow.
When they fitted them finally they use a glue to hold them in. Later that night after eating i thought I had food caught up in my gum to discover that it was part of my stitches and that my stitches were glued under my teeth and I had other bits sticking out. I did not expect this, but after talking to the dentist, this is normal so they can protect them. The stitches are dissolvable and take around 2 weeks to do so.
I was given extra antibiotics before I left to make sure the healing process went well. Note: Make sure you cover yourself for the additional cost of prescriptions etc.
Dr Marco called me Saturday and Sunday morning before I left to make sure I was doing well and not having any problems. I cannot give enough praise for Dr Marco for his patience, caring and dedication he has and what he has done for me to date. I am so very grateful and pleased that I chose him.
At home now my swelling has gone and numbness I had before is going away and I am feeling more. My jaw is still a little stiff. I came out with a bruise to my lower jaw.(Probably for the implant operation) My sinus areas are still tender to touch on my face so I am very gentle with it. I came out in many blisters on my lips from the constant prodding over the past week. My lips were the most painful experience of all. Make sure you have plenty of vaseline or other to keep your lips moist at all times. I am still healing from this.
I still feel a little weak in all. Not up to scratch just yet but making sure I eat properly and look after the healing process. I had to buy a Water Pick - on advice from the dentist in a DVD they give you of how to look after your gums and teeth. Make sure you buy a good one as you will need it for always. You also need a good mouth wash and a special dental brush. The brush I have yet too find as the style I have not located as yet.
I still find my teeth somewhat cumbersome and still jutting into the inside of my cheek, but I will adjust to it, the roof of my mouth a little tender but this is from using it to crush my food and it will get use to it over time. The teeth look good but a little generic, they are temporary and I need to heal now so when i get my final teeth they will look fantastic and be strong.
Prices: This is purely a guideline and each patient is different.
Costs that I needed in my situation were: Sinus grafts @ $1500 each, Implants are $500 each. (In my case I had 6 on top and 6 on the bottom, but one of these needs to be done next trip). You can have 8 if you wish. The more there are, the better as then they are more stable. Temporary teeth @ $500 each bridge. Any bone grafts $500 each. Any X-rays and impressions $200 for as many as needed. Sedation $500 on each occasion. (I had this as did not want to be awake for it). Prescriptions I would allow at least $150. They do offer a travel insurance which is advisable which costs $300. This covers part of accommodation and airfares if you need to come back for any repairs etc. They do give a total warranty on all their work for as long as you are a patient of theirs.
My next trip I will have the one implant done (as currently I have a bone implant healing there), I will have a fixed bridge of 12 crowns on each jaw. Prices vary on these as it depends on what type that you choose. They range from $300 to $450 each crown.
Remember when you contact them, give them a little time to respond and if you have not heard within a few days, write again. They do get extremely busy and Dr Marco tries to actually reply personally to all emails. Bear with him as he works at least 12 hours a day and then does emails from home.

Returning for my 2nd visit

I am finally booked to go and get my final teeth made. I have an appointment for 11th September and have booked to stay there for 2 weeks leaving on the 24th. This time I am making sure I give them plenty of time for everything. It has been since last November when I went for my first visit.
I still have to get more implants for the back of my mouth, upper and lower. This is because on my first visit I had the bone grafts.
I am looking forward to getting the final teeth since the temporary ones I have are not comfortable. They were made too wide and I have an over-bite. I hate to smile as I feel there is just too much teeth. I am looking forward to discussing style, size etc and feeling happy to smile.
Will keep posted once I get there.

Finally arrived and in the process now for my permanent teeth

I arrived Sunday and had my first appointment yesterday - Monday at 9am.
I had to wait until 11am before I had X-rays and saw a Doctor. I waited until 2pm before the next process when they have to remove my top temporary teeth - (by drilling them out as they have been permanently glued). Then another wait until 4.30pm when I got my 2nd set of top temp teeth and had to have them fitted etc. This took an hour. All of the staff are well trained and know what they are doing, but expect a wait on each and every day as this is a common factor here. Well worth it though!
Another appointment for today - Tuesday again at 9am.
I did get in at 9.40am this time to have my lower temps drilled out (6 this time). Then impressions done again and waited until 2.15 for my 2nd set of bottom temps and then having them fitted. Woohoo.. I got out at 3.15 today. (Photos attached of today ).
Tomorrow is a big day!!. I have more implants to have at the back of my mouth. I think 3 in total and I am going to go under for it again. I have an understanding that there is a process of preparing your gums and implants for your final teeth and this can need some numbing, so I am hoping I can have this all done at the same time of getting my implants when i am under.
I will post again updates tomorrow or Thursday..

Before and after pics

Just wanted to add photos of my first temporary teeth compared to my teeth before I started everything. Taking into consideration I had an upper denture and bad lower teeth.
I want to have the shape/size of the teeth I had before and not like the temps I have had the last six months. You will see the difference when you look at these.

Wednesday 14th 2nd visit

Yesterday I was scheduled to have more implants at the back of my mouth. Reason for this is on my first visit I had a sinus floor lift and this had to heal before having an implant there.
My appointment was for 9am but did not get to see anyone until 10am. As mentioned before this is normal.
I was taken into the surgery room where the Doctor had not arrived as yet. (I was being anesthetized since I am a real coward. Note: You cannot eat or drink 6 hours prior to surgery).
I said I wanted to wait before they did anything so I could talk to the dentist first. (This is important to ask as many questions as you can as I found that on occasions I felt I was in the dark and did not know what was going to happen etc).
Dr Marco arrived and explained they would do the implants needed and also do the prep work on my current implants (apparently in the gums etc which can be somewhat painful).
I woke at 11am and lay on a sofa sleeping on and of until 3pm when I was asked to sit up. There really is no pain. I then found out I had only received one implant. I had expected at least 3 from discussions prior. I was told that the reason was is that my mouth is small and that I did not need it and when they put the final teeth on they will cantilever the bridge at the back to add the extra teeth. I am trusting their judgement at this point.
It was also explained to me that I am going to get zircon teeth which are durable and you can see through them much like natural teeth. On looking online it also states that they resist chipping and stains more so than porcelain. Happy about this.
I was fitted for my 3rd upper temps also at this stage. My gums feel tender after the procedure and the temp teeth are not much to my liking. They do not fit well at all. I have been assured though that they do not represent anything like my final teeth. My last lower temps have made my face drop so it is not supporting my face like previously. They seem to fit further in causing my face to drop.
I finally got back to my hotel around 5.45pm. A long day since I had not eaten since the night before.
My next appointment is scheduled for Friday at 11am. I then start the process of choosing the style, size, color etc of my teeth. It is extremely important that I get it right as there is only a once chance for the cutting of the zircon bridges I will be getting as they cut it from one piece.
I am nervous as I want to have a pretty smile again without looking like I have a horses smile and not looking like I have aged suddenly with too smaller teeth. Here is hoping!!
I have given the Doctor photos of when I had all of my natural teeth, when I had my upper denture, this whole process and some of photos of other people and their teeth that I like the look of.
I will post again an update after my next appointment.

Friday 16th Sept

11am appointment today. I went in and needed to have another bite impression.
I had a good talk with Dr Marco about the process ahead and he answered all my questions and made me feel a lot at ease after I was able to understand the process more.
One thing to remember is that we cannot compare to others as we are all different with different shapes and needs etc. This I understood now.
I was then asked to go back at 5pm where Dr Marco would show me a 3-d impression in the lab of what they proposed based on what I had requested.
It was a long wait again but well worth it when I went up to the lab to see the design of my teeth. As it turns out, my idea was not exactly going to be the best option of which Dr Marco explained and showed me. I trust him with his experience and advice and he made a lot of sense in his explanations. .
Taking into consideration that my mouth is so small, also the lack of bone, the shrinking of my gums which add to aging, lines etc, I am wanting the best possible look I can achieve. What is great is that they are going to do an acrylic mold first so I can try it and make changes if needed which is fantastic so I can actually feel it in my mouth and see it visually.
Once I have approved all then they will move forward and start making the zirconia bridges for me.
I have a 3pm appointment Monday so will keep you posted with the next update after then.
Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday 20th Sept

This week I have had an appointment yesterday and today to date.
Yesterday was to see if the duplicate of my permanent needed any changes. Yes, it felt too big so they made some changes. I was happy with the look of it though.
I went back again today for another fitting and there were still a few minor changes to make.
Overall I am happy with my bite and look. I just need the fitting to be more comfortable, shaved of in certain areas to make my speech better and an added gum part to cover some implants etc.
I also might add that both yesterday and today were extremely busy in the office which made my waits very long. Today in all I waited 4 hours..
My next appointment is not until Thursday now when I get my actual permanents fitted. Any minor adjustments can still be made. Am nervous and hopeful all will go well.
I am attaching pics of the copy of my permanents they have been working on to get the fitting right.

Final Outcome and Summary

Firstly let me apologize for taking so long in doing my final review. I had it all completed 24th September and flew to Myrtle Beach where I was visiting friends for a week. Following that I returned home here in Florida where the hurricane was about to arrive so with everything else going on it has taken me time to catch up.
Friday 23rd September (last day) I had my final teeth fitted and set in. I had a 9 am appointment and was there until 7.15 pm that evening. It was an extremely long and an emotional day. I was concerned that I would not have enough time to have the teeth in before I left to be able to determine what adjustments needed to be made, and there are always those to be done. My first time in I had the final teeth fitted and set in permanently. Then I waited until after midday before I was seen again and had some adjustments made. Mostly the bite. Then it was after 6 pm before I saw someone again and by this time I was getting upset. There were several things that needed adjusting. I spoke with Dr Marco at this stage where he explained the process to me. It made it a lot easier to understand. He assured me that I would not leave without everything being perfect. When I left that evening he offered to pick me up personally the following morning (Saturday) before I was to fly back home and check again on everything. He did have several more adjustments to make and once completed his driver took me to the airport.

Overall: I am very happy with the results. My patience was tested many times during the whole process with waiting times etc and also, unless I asked questions I was left in the dark. I strongly suggest asking many questions along the way. I still would highly recommend Dr Marco as many others would that have used his services.
His costs are very reasonable compared to many others and he has a website where he has his prices listed.
I booked my flights and accommodation through Travelocity. Both trips I chose to stay at Hotel Suites Cristina which I highly recommend. The rooms have a small kitchen, living area. Staff are lovely and rooms are clean. They also have a fabulous Italian restaurant on site.
In all my teeth cost $14500 (all on 6 upper and lower), my airfare from Myrtle Beach Sc and accommodation ( 7 nights 1st trip and 13 nights 2nd trip) a total of $2588 and I allowed expenses of around $50 US per day.
I hope this helps many others that are contemplating getting dental implants!!.
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