Mario Garita Carrillo was born to be a dentist. He just didn’t know it. He came from a family that had already played an integral role in the history of Costa Rica. His great-great-grandmother had immigrated from Czechoslovakia and married a Costa Rica national. Their son, Braulio Carrilla Colina, twice become the President of Costa Rica. His grandfather had been a dentist, as had his father, who went on to become Dean of the Dental School of the UCIMED. Later, his father went on as a teaching professor of dentistry at Iowa State University.
Even though dentistry was in the family blood, young Mario had no clear inclination about being a dentist. His father was very much hands-off with his son and so Mario wandered through secondary school undecided about his future.
Being very tall for a Costa Rican, gifted with athletic ability and exceptional hand-eye coordination, sports seemed a natural venue for him. He was forward in soccer and a center in basketball. However, as he grew older, something else caught his attention.
There were times at his father’s dental practice he would spend time in the dental lab watching the technicians painstakingly craft dental molds. Mario was fascinated with the attention to detail required and began working alongside the lab technicians mixing and pouring the mortar for them. As time went on he discovered his niche with the highly detailed, synchronized work performed in the lab and began spending more time at his fathers practice. His in-born dental DNA began to take hold.
After he finished college he went to the University of Costa Rica Dental School (where his father was the Dean) and hit his stride. Being gifted with a natural hand dexterity he was literally born to be a dentist. It was at dental school he met fellow dental student Priscilla and they were married while finishing their degrees. Now he was at a crossroads. Should he continue on as a GP or specialize?
It was at this time he read a article on a brand new procedure called dental implants written by the ‘Father of Sub-Periosteal Implant’, Dr. Leonard Linkow. His fascination with the exactness surgery required and his desire to be on the cutting-edge of dental technology offered by this new procedure prompted him to apply to the University of Miami School of Medicine. Once accepted he entered into the advanced training that this new procedure demanded, learning to master the complex dental surgeries,which included bone grafts. Taught by the renown Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Robert Marx, Dr. Mario was a superlative student and established his credentials. Later after graduation as a Dental Implant Specialist and Oral Surgeon, he went to Jackson-Memorial Hospital in Miami to do his residency. As it is a large public hospital he found himself working with emergency cases ranging from gun wounds to massive head trauma and everything in between, Dr.Mario’s skills were tested and refined in every way possible. After completing his residency he and his wife, Dra. Priscilla,who had also earned her doctorate as a dentist, arrived back in Costa Rica as the first Certified Dental Implant Specialist in that country’s history.
Their first office was located above the McDonalds restaurant across from Democracy Square in downtown San Jose. Since dental implants were a new procedure in Costa Rica Dr. Mario, literally, went door-to-door offering his specialist services to other dentists in Costa Rica. Little by little the practice grew and his reputation as a skilled dental surgeon took hold. Seeing the future of medical tourism Dr. Mario and Dra. Priscilla built the first medical tourism website in Costa Rica in the ’90′s and set the standard for other dentists to measure themselves against.The result,19 years later, is a thriving dental practice, located in a new, multi-million state-of-the-art facility equipped with its own laboratory. Today, Dr. Mario is one of the preeminent dentists in Costa Rica his clientele including the outgoing president of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla. As a testimony to their early prescience about medical tourism 60% of his clientele fly down from the US and Canada for any and all dental procedures ranging from veneers to permanent dentures. What his clients have found over the past 18 years, as you will, is restored dental health, with a perfect smile at a perfect price, performed by a compassionate and brilliant dentist.