Archive for the ‘dental reviews’ Category

Dr. Aníbal E. González, periodontist in Costa Rica

March 19, 2010

Dr. Aníbal E. González, M.S., D.D.S

One of the dentists in Costa Rica I’m most enthusiastic about is Dr. Aníbal E. González. He is a periodontist, so I don’t go to him for my general dental work, but he has given me helpful comments and advice about every aspect of my dental situation. I first went to Dr. Gonzales because another dentist named Thelma Rubenstein (see my post about her)  scared me by looking into my mouth and telling me I had a serious periodontal problem and that I might need surgery. She then suggested that she begin “root planing and scaling” immediately. (This is the name dentists give for a very deep, thorough cleaning that often requres more than one session.) She did one quadrant (1/4 of my teeth) and charged me $85 plus an examination fee. 

Rather than going back to her, I researched what periodontal specialists there are in Costa Rica and I decided to give Dr. Gonzales a try, based on the information on his website (which includes jpegs of his diplomas) plus the fact he speaks English, plus the fact that he graduated from Baylor University School of Dentistry.

My first visit with Dr. Gonzales was at his Grecia location–he also works out of an office in Escazu, and also some other location as well. I’m going to expand this post later, but the main point is: during the three times I went to see him, he did great work with me–very competent, careful, thoughtful treatment. And reasonable too: he charged me less than the non-specialist.

By the way, he also assured me that I did not need dental surgery, but he did notice an important problem with my bridge. I have since gone back to the dentist who did the bridge and he is replacing it at cost due to mechanical failure. Dr. Gonzales also noticed a fistula that my general dentist didn’t catch–this too was important information that means I will need a root canal, but I’m glad I found that out about it sooner than later. (In other words, before it started to hurt.) All this “value added,” plus a great job doing my periodontal work.

Dr. Anibal’s website is:


I wrote the previous review in 2008. Just want to let you know I am still seeing Dr. Gonzales twice a year or so and he’s continued to impress me with his dental skill. He’s also a really nice guy. He’s done a great many things right but just so you know I’m not simply a raving fan, I’ll mention the only small thing that he did that I didn’t like. I try to minimize my x-ray exposure and when he was examining my teeth he suddenly wanted to make sure that a particular one of my root canals was still ok. He immediately took an xray before I really had a chance to think about, but later I realized I really would have preferred to have waited until I got the panoramic from my regular dentist, which I was planning to get in the next couple months. That would have reported on all my root canals so I simply didn’t like it that this additional and unnecessary xray was taken. OK, folks that’s it–so he’s not perfect.


Thelma Rubenstein Prisma Dental Costa Rica

February 8, 2010

I’m sorry I haven’t kept to my original plan, but better late than never so here is some more information.

First I’d like to mention a dentist with whom I had a negative experience: Thema Rubenstein at Prisma Dental. I feel obligated to mention my experience because Prisma does tons of advertising and is going after the medical tourism market very aggressively. To be fair, I only went to this office once and finished the treatment with a different dentist at a different office, namely, Dr. Anibal, whom I continue to see twice a year. What happened at Prisma is that they told me I had gum disease and that I would probably need surgery and then commenced a root planing and scaling. The root planing and scaling was done by some assistant, not Dr. Rubenstein….which I thought was kind of lame because they charged me quite a bit by Costa Rican standards and I expected the work to be done by a dentist. They also shot me up with an anesthetic AND an antibiotic, not giving me time to tell them that I often forego anesthesia even when I’ve had deep cavities filled and that I prefer to, because I don’t like the numb feeling and not being able to feel my lips, etc., and prefer to not have chemicals like that in my system. I also am against use of antibiotics unless truly necessary and didn’t appreciate them injecting me some in what seemed to be their standard operating procedure. They also prescribed a powerful antibiotic and told me I should take it for a few weeks in order to minimize the risk of infection. Again, I thought this was over the top…I looked up the antibiotic and it wasn’t just a simple one like amoxicillin but a complex expensive one that simply seemed unnecessary. I was very relieved to find Dr. Anibal and have him assure me that I did not need gum surgery and that antibiotics were not necessary either. He finished the root planing and scaling, oh that was another thing: the Prisma people wanted to do it in four visits…Dr. Anibal finished it up in one visit. It just seemed like the Prisma people were overmedicating, overprescribing, overtreating. Again, I haven’t had much experience with them but what happened was enough for me not want to go back. To be fair once again, they were pleasant enough and their office looks gorgeous but that, of course, wasn’t enough! More next time.

a new resource to find good dentists and doctors in costa rica

July 7, 2008

Considering the amount of dental and medical tourism in Costa Rica, as well as the number of foreigners who have moved to Costa Rica and seek out dental and medical care, I feel it is about time for a NON-COMMERCIAL site that includes reviews of various dentists and doctors submitted by real people in order to help other real people. My definition of real people is people who are not working for a dental or medical office and are in no way connected with the professionals they are recommending or criticizing–except as patients or former patients.

In the weeks and months to come, I will post my own experiences, good and bad, from having lived in Costa Rica now for seven years. I encourage you to send me your reviews as well to Note: though I will not use your full name, please include it in your email, as well as a phone number so that I can call and verify the authenticity of your submission.



July 7, 2008