Doctor's Profile

Dr. Samuel Oliva Ovalle is devoted to giving his patients excellent customer service, which starts with the precise treatment they need for long-term oral health, and finishes with exactly what the patient wants to see as a glowing and beautiful result.

Together with his team of highly respected dental specialists from Guatemala City, Dr. Oliva can provide first-class, big-city dental care without having to leave the small-town ambiance of the lovely colonial town of Antigua. For the convenience of some patients, he also offers appointments in Centro Medico in zona 10 of Guatemala City.

Dr. Oliva has over ten years of experience in creating perfectly sculptured oral restorations and dental prosthetics. Clinicas Ovalle dental center is equipped with a panoramic dental x-ray machine to produce instant results for the doctor to review with you in minutes, for both children and adults.

Children require special care for their teeth, gums and mouth, and Dr. Oliva is a pediatric dental specialist, dedicated to the oral health of children from infancy through the teen years. Children are not just small adults. They are not always able to be patient and cooperative during a dental exam. The kids’ favorite, “Dr. Sami” has the experience and qualifications to treat children in ways that make them comfortable, like having specially designed equipment in a clinic that is arranged and decorated with children in mind.

Another specialty that Dr. Oliva offers is prevention and treatment of gum disease. Periodontal problems are the leading cause of tooth loss and may be associated with other chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease. Patients with a complex medical history or those seeking assistance with the placement and maintenance of dental implants would benefit greatly from Dr. Oliva’s experience in this area.

To stay current with the latest treatment methods and materials, Dr. Oliva regularly attends dental conventions in Mexico and abroad, most recently in Lichtenstein, to learn more about dental supply brands in Europe, and to purchase them for his own practice in Guatemala.

In both English and Spanish, Dr. Oliva takes all the time you need to explain the state of your oral health and the treatment options that are available to you, honestly and completely. In case of emergency, patients know they will be able to reach their dentist by mobile phone on night and weekends. Many international patients from Europe, North America and the Caribbean return to “Dr. Sami” over several years, because of easy scheduling access, reasonable prices and the comfort of being in the caring hands of a well-known and trusted friend.

Professional Affiliations

Colegio Estomatológico de Guatemala, Guatemala City
College of Doctors of Oral and Digestive Health
Member since 2006

Academic Affiliations

Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala City
Graduado en Cirugía Dental y Odontología Pediátrica, Graduate degree in Dental Surgery and Pediatric Dentistry

Universidad de Francisco Marroquin, Escuela de Negocios, Guatemala City
Maestría en Administración de Empresas, Master of Business Administration

Publications

Come back soon to read more articles by or about the Doctor Olivia.

“Dental Care in Guatemala” by Dr. Samuel Oliva and Lori Shea. Download here.

Special Interests

Come back soon to read more about the latest treatment methods that Doctor Oliva finds most interesting.

Beyond Dr. Oliva’s dental expertise, he is a highly effective business manager. He has created and produced a smartphone app for dental clinics called “Smart Dent”, as a result of his extensive history in high-volume dental clinic management, like scheduling, inventory and customer service. When the app becomes fully operational, the nurses, receptionist, and the doctor can coordinate patient care and office operations up to the minute and in real time.

This is important to the patient because their complete dental history, down to precision dental graphics of all 32 teeth, is immediately available to future medical providers. Dr. Oliva’s goal for the application is to provide reliable indicators of the efficiency of the clinic, and the accuracy of patient care.

Testimonials

Please write to us about your experience with Doctor Oliva in the “Comments” section below. Other patients will be interested to know more about the doctor’s skill, experience, ethics and personal attention, as they resulted in your successful outcome.

It’s now two months since I’ve returned to the States from Guatemala, and I’m still running into old friends and acquaintances who rave about my new white smile. They tell me I look like myself, only better. And I tell them that my dental experience in Guatemala was a trip of a lifetime and a dream come true. I had crowns, resin fillings and laser whitening, all-in-all over $10,000 worth of dental work, at a cost of only $3,000. Even with airfare it was still less than half of what I would have paid in the U.S. What’s more, I had the pleasure of meeting the charming Dr. Samuel Oliva, who did the work swiftly and painlessly during short visits over a number of days.

The rest of my time in Guatemala was spent exploring the gorgeous cobblestone streets of Antigua, sipping sangria and eating ceviche in its cafes, happily hunting in its flea markets, catching a glimpse of a sparking volcano at night.

The person who made all of this happen, who found Dr. Oliva, my perfect dentist, helped me make treatment decisions, squired me to and from appointments and served as a top-notch travel guide was the unstoppable Lori Shea. She is a gifted medical matchmaker as well as a gracious hostess. It is her energy and smarts that lead me to the beautiful moment when I heard Dr. Sami say: ‘Your mouth is healthy, your teeth are strong and protected, your smile is all set for life.’ It’s by far the best gift I’ve ever given myself.

Todd Lyon, New Haven, CT. Oct. 2015

I came to Guatemala for dental work after being in significant discomfort for a few months.  Dr. Sami and his staff were professional, punctual, courteous and kind and they fixed my problem.

I left Antigua pain free, with a beautifully smooth crown and no further discomfort.  It was a wonderful experience, and Lori made the process of getting there seamless, simple and stress free!!  Between the money exchange, cell phones and personalized service, I cannot emphasize how much the experience was top shelf from the beginning to the end.  I have and will continue to recommend GMT to friends, family and patients, should they need medical services of the highest caliber for the fraction of the price.  Kudos to you Lori, and your vision of affordable, high quality health care for those in need.

Lilah Brand, MS, PT

My initial appointment with Dr. Sami Oliva was arranged by Guatemala Medical Travel. All treatment was highly professional, quickly accomplished, and absolutely pain free. Most amazing to me, waiting time at each appointment was non-existent. I arrived and was in the chair almost immediately upon arrival. A short number of days later another colleague and implant specialist from the city (Dr. Bonilla) arrived to do the two dental implants in the lower jaw. This was accomplished, again without wait or delay, in a little more than an hour.

The lab did an excellent job and additional appointments for adjustments over an additional week resulted in a comfortable, stable, final fit. At one early point in this process Dr. Sami made some changes and then said, “try this for a little bit and then come back in an hour and a half, and I will make additional adjustments.” No appointment a day or two later, just come back a little later and we will fine tune it some more. What service and professionalism!

Altogether my cost for Lori’s management services and three excellent dental specialists was about US$4300—roughly one-third (or perhaps even a little less) of what this work would have cost in the States. The service and care from Dr. Sami and his colleagues was of the highest professional skill and quality and, given my dental history, I have multiple frames of reference by which to judge! I am more than satisfied; I was delighted by the experience and recommend Lori, GMT, and Dr. Sami without hesitation or reservation.

M. Donley, Seattle, WA.

Dear Dr. Oliva and Lori: I want to thank you for my dental implant and the great dental team you selected for me. We appreciated your support and attention when Beth and I stayed with you at “Casa Muriel” in Antigua Guatemala.

When my Canadian dentist told me how much the dental implant would cost, it looked like there would be no way to have both the implant and to spend the winter sailing in Central America as we have done since we retired. However, I learned from you that you can get the same great – and safe – dental care in Guatemala as is available in North America, but for a fraction of the cost. I received first class medical care and I was able to spend the winter season sailing the Caribbean – talk about having your cake and eating it too!

But we also got so much more than that. Where else would you be picked up at the airport, driven to your appointments and have a registered nurse go with you to keep a record and to act as translator and advocate; or be told by your dentist to drop in anytime, at no charge, with any concerns or to check how things were healing? We enjoyed a first class experience beyond what I could have imagined as being part of medical travel service.

I received a level of care and attention from Dr. Oliva and the entire Guatemala Medical Travel staff that I would never have received at home or if I had tried to arrange for the dental implant abroad on my own. One of you were always around to answer questions, to give advice on medications, to fill out insurance claim forms, to arrange tours or to act as translator all in addition to the high quality of dental care that you arranged. Thank you very much. ….

Beth and Jim from Halifax, Nova Scotia

Peer Reviews From Other Doctors

Read here what other doctors have to say about Doctor Oliva.

Charity, Public Service, Donations

Public service and caring for the less fortunate is a way of life in the Latin culture.

Over twenty years ago, with his brand new dental degree in hand, the young Dr. Oliva began his carer working for non-profit charitable groups offering pediatric dental care in the villages surrounding Antigua. Quite often, entire classrooms of children would arrive, but that’s not a problem, under the compassionate guidance of Dr. Sami, all the children received the special attention they needed to give them a better chance in life.

Even now, Dr. Oliva continues to work with local orphanages and missionaries, like Common Hope, known locally as Familias de Esperanza. Please look at their website to learn more about how you can help, by donating dental services for the kids.

Patient Success Stories

Every patient has different circumstances and expectations. We will tell you about an interesting and unusual case that doctor Oliva was able to turn around with unexpectedly outstanding results.