Mario Garita, D.D.S., the famed Dental Implant Specialist in Costa Rica has now successfully placed more than 25,000 dental implants.  This is not only an incredible feat and a remarkable achievement, it is nearly beyond belief!  There are likely no more than a small handful of other Dentists in the entire world who have come close to this type of achievement in the field of Implant Dentistry.

We asked Dr. Garita what he thought about reaching this latest milestone.  He said, “The first few hundred dental implants I placed many years ago were a big challenge, mostly because I am very conscientious about my work.  After that, it became more about perfecting my technique and learning by trial the way to complete cases that most Doctors would not even accept.  I love a good challenge and I have found no environment as challenging as Dental Implant Surgery.”

He continued, “Early in my career I started getting calls from Patients in the United States who could not find Doctors to accept their cases.  I thought to myself what are these people going to do without teeth?  And I decided to start coming up with solutions.  And one positive result led to the next.  And each success led to another. Here I am nearly 5000 North American patients later; capable and confident I can restore just about anybody’s smile, and always excited to treat my next patient.”

We asked Dr. Garita’s International Coordinator what he thought about this accomplishment. Howard Siegler said:, “Well, I could go on for hours building up Dr. Garita, but truth is I could never even skim the surface of describing his depth of talent.  I seem to fall back on the word AMAZING, frequently.  Same goes with him surpassing the 25,000 implants placed threshold; though now it just seems ordinary and natural after working with him for some time.  He is a one of a kind person, a brilliant, talented and caring Surgeon, and I believe the world is a better place for having him here!”

Dr. Yuling Lee, a Prosthodontist and one of Dr. Garita’s in-house Team of Dental Specialists said: “Dr. Garita is one part man, one part Superman, and all parts a hero to the dental profession!”  And his sentiments seem to be shared by other Dentists who know him; both young and old, experienced and novice alike.  The Doctor obviously makes a GREAT impression on everyone who crosses his path.

Dr. Juan Alverado D.D.S. was mentored by Dr. Garita and serves as an Oral Surgeon and Cosmetic Dentist at Garita’s clinic.  He said: “I have been working here for 7 years and have placed more dental implants then anyone I know (aside from Dr. Garita) and I am still amazed when I assist Dr. Garita on his more complex cases.  I find myself saying, oh, that’s how it is possible.  I don’t throw the word miracle around often, but I sure have seen some incredible ingenuity over the years.  Dental school was a breeze…working at Garita’s Clinic is where the real learning began for me!”

Dr. Garita in turn said: “Juan has been with me so long, he doesn’t even realize how talented he is.  When I examine his Patients from time to time when he is unavailable and look at the implants he has placed, in most cases, they are virtually exactly where and how I would have placed them.  He has been a great protégé and is now one of the best in the marketplace.  I would trust him to do ANY dental surgery on me and my family…and I do not say that about many Dentists or Surgeons.  He has a VERY bright future ahead of him and we are so glad we took this big Teddy Bear in to work with us!”  The Doctor obviously holds Dr. Alverado in a very special regard as he appears to embody the heart of Garita’s Team and business.

It is notable that the entire Staff reveres their Leader.  Management of most companies needs to jump thru hoops to get their employees to go the extra mile…at Garita’s Clinic it appears to be just the opposite. Every employee we spoke with wants to meet the high standards the Doctor sets, and they are rewarded each-and-every day with praise if it is deserved; or with gentle guidance on how to improve.  There appears to be no in-fighting, one-ups-man-ship, jealousy, bickering or feuds.  The Team works together in a text-book manner rarely seen in such environments.

Dental Tourism

We asked Dr. Garita to reflect on his studies in Miami. He said: “Well, that was a long time ago! After I went thru my formal studies and became an Implant Specialist, I spent 3 years working at a variety of Government hospitals and dental clinics in Miami, treating soldiers, veterans, government employees, and the general public.  I could not have designed a better training ground.  I learned the ins and outs or treating and working with all types of Americans.  It really is a melting pot there!  I probably treated Patients from more than 20 different countries.  Ironically, my English was as good as many of my U.S. citizen patients!”

“But equally important was the experience I gained working with U.S. Doctors and other Dental Specialists there.  They think differently than Costa Ricans in many respects, and now when I receive Treatment Plans from patients considering traveling to Costa Rica, I understand why their Dentists back home suggested that which they suggested.  I know it’s a bit juvenile, but sometimes on those rare days when I just feel like I need a little boost, I let some of my local Dentist friends review the Treatment Plans I am provided for their opinion.  Most have no idea why U.S. Dentists do what they do…it makes me feel like I am “in” on a private joke!”

We found Dr. Garita not only to be AMAZING as Siegler said, he is also attentive, engaging, outgoing, oddly humble, and generous with his time.  He is a real “people person” as some would say.  Nothing about him is average, but he seems to remain quite ordinary nonetheless.  While there are many Dentists people can visit in Costa Rica, it’s hard to see why anyone would choose to go elsewhere.  That said, we know that no one Doctor is right for every Patient, so we encourage anyone who does not have a good set of teeth for smiling and eating, to make an appointment to see a Dentist as soon as possible.