The first day I arrived here in Monteverde, I found myself plagued by those same ungodly tooth pains with which I was beset upon my arrival in Chicago two months ago. They were so inflamed that, after a day in bed, I marched myself straight to Dr. Francisco, the only dentist in this moist and verdant hamlet. He sat me down and promptly gave me five fillings. Then he informed me that my upper righthand wisdom tooth was broken - the source of all that misery! I asked him if he could remove it and he laughed and then shot me full of novacaine, got out his pliers (his assistant ran screaming from the room) and yanked that sucker out. The novacaine took effect about five minutes later.
There are several differences between going to the dentist in the states and in the mountains of Costa Rica. One is the price - even if I had insurance at home, I wouldn't have gotten away so clean. Furthermore, in the US, your fillings will not be smelted by a sixteen year old girl who's decided to hang out in the office that day because she has a passing interest in dentistry. Your dentist will not say things like "Jesus Christ, that's a strong tongue!" And lastly, because the federal government has classified extracted teeth as medical waste, you don't get to keep the spoils of your oral surgery in a cute little rubber mouse manufactured explicitly for making keepsakes of old molars and such.
It's the perfect souvenir.