School of Dentistry

Continuing Dental Education

Providing timely and practical continuing education for dental professionals

Study Abroad 2014: Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Costa Rica photos

Study Abroad 2014: Guanacaste, Costa Rica

"More beauty and adventure than any other country on earth."

January 24-31, 2014
About Costa Rica

Situated in the heart of Central America lies Costa Rica—one of the most beautiful, biologically diverse and friendly places on earth. Wedged between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, this tropical paradise is comprised of numerous microclimates that provide an incredible variety of natural wonders. More than 500,000 plant and animal species, representing 4% of the total estimated species in the world, are found in this small bio-diverse country about the size of West Virginia. Costa Rican people (Ticos) are charming hosts, gracious and friendly, who go out of their way to help you experience the Costa Rican “Pura Vida” way of life.

About the Guanacaste Region

The Guanacaste region is located on Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast, with over 200 miles of coastline, 70 different beaches, famous national parks, plus spectacular rivers, lakes, volcanoes and rare tropical dry forest. Exotic wildlife, thousands of plant species, hundreds of bird species, reptiles, and amphibians grace this magnificent region of Costa Rica. Guanacaste’s hot, dry climate makes for the perfect escape from our cold winter weather. In January you will enjoy sunny days with temperatures averaging 86 degrees.

Exciting Activities & Attractions to Enjoy

  • Take a guided river tour through a wildlife preserve and view migratory birds, iguanas, crocodiles, monkeys and other indigenous wildlife.
  • Explore pristine beaches to observe sea turtle nesting sites.
  • Zip-line across the forest canopy.
  • Visit an active volcano, relax in a thermal hot springs and receive a volcanic mud treatment.
  • Tour a coffee plantation.
  • Catch the big one—sport fishing is popular, with many varieties of fish to reel in.
  • Hike through a tropical rainforest and experience many different species of mammals, reptiles, birds and plant life unique to this ecosystem.
  • Enjoy a romantic sunset catamaran cruise and catch a glimpse of dolphins, whales, manta-rays, sea turtles, and more.
  • Shop for the perfect Costa Rican souvenir—wooden carvings, masks, pottery and jewelry.
About the Riu Palace Costa Rica

Our group will be staying at Riu Palace Costa Rica, a brand new, 5-star, luxury, all-inclusive resort located on the stunning shores of Matapalo Beach in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. You will enjoy a spacious suite with a modern and contemporary décor, balcony or terrace, central air, ceiling fan, mini-bar and liquor dispenser, coffee maker, satellite TV, in-room safe, free Wi-Fi, hydro-massage bathtub and shower, 24-hour room service, nightly turndown service and more. Located just 35 minutes from the airport in Liberia, the Riu Palace offers a beautiful and elegant setting and a perfect base to explore all the wonders of Costa Rica.

All-inclusive resort features include:

  • 5 unique restaurants—1 main buffet, 1 poolside grill and steakhouse and 3 a la carte restaurants serving Fusion, Japanese and Italian cuisine—and a pâtisserie & ice cream parlor
  • 5 bars and lounges offering both domestic and imported alcohol
  • 4 swimming pools, including one with a swim-up bar
  • Workout gym, beach-volleyball, billiards
  • Lighted tennis court
  • Steam bath, Jacuzzi
  • Windsurfing, paddle boats, kayaking and snorkeling equipment
  • 1 introductory scuba diving lesson in the pool
  • Daytime entertainment for both children and adults
  • Nightly entertainment
  • “Renova Spa” with assorted treatments (additional charge)
  • “Pacha” Night Club & Casino (complimentary entrance, drinks not included)
  • Mini-market, boutique, souvenir and photo shop on property
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access in the lobby and guest rooms
All-inclusive Land/Air Package

The travel package with airfare, transfers, all-inclusive accommodations and a professional travel escort is priced at $3,295 per person, double occupancy. For single occupancy or room upgrade pricing, contact Carlson Wagonlit Travel at 763-852-8162 or 800-533-0324, Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM to 5 PM CST, or email (Land-only package and flights from other departure cities also available.) Complete travel information can be found at:

The 2014 land/air package includes round-trip coach airfare from Minneapolis to Liberia, Costa Rica, private transfers to/from the Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport in Liberia and the resort, seven nights accommodations at the Riu Palace, food and beverage throughout the program, luggage porterage and housekeeping gratuities, and the services of a Carlson Wagonlit Travel escort.

Course Benefits/Objectives

During the continuing dental educational program you will learn how to:

  • assess and treat traumatic dental injuries.
  • recognize the function of today’s mouthguards.
  • manage the inter-disciplinary care of dental patients with significant medical conditions.
  • recognize and manage medical emergencies in dental practice.
  • describe and manage common interpersonal stresses unique to dentistry.
  • identify and treat anxious, depressed and personality disordered dental patients.
  • treat clenching and bruxism through behavioral therapy.
  • manage ethical issues and malpractice risk. 



Who Should Attend

Dentists and dental team members who are looking to combine a warm winter get-away with continuing education that is timely and practical.

Educational Methods

Illustrated lectures and discussion

About the Speakers

Leesa Morrow, Ph.D., J.D., L.P., Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of TMD and Orofacial Pain, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Dr. Morrow completed a doctorate in Clinical Health Psychology at the University of North Texas and an internship in Clinical Psychology at Indiana University School of Medicine. She has devoted her career to a blend of clinical practice and teaching. Dr. Morrow has expertise in the treatment of acute and chronic pain, as well as stress exacerbated systemic illnesses. She uses a variety of treatment modalities including biofeedback, hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy. After many years working as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Morrow completed a degree in law at Indiana University School of Law. This additional education expanded Dr. Morrow’s professional expertise with the understanding of bioethics and medical malpractice.

Mark A. Roettger, D.D.S., Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Comprehensive Care, Department of Primary Dental Care, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry; Director, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview General Practice Residency (GPR) program. Dr Roettger is also a founding and charter member of the Academy for Sports Dentistry, as well as past president of the organization. He is a dental consultant to the University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Department. Dr Roettger is an inventor of Under Armour Performance Mouthwear, and has been active in research regarding the role of oral appliances in mitigation of stress. Currently Dr Roettger is actively researching improvement in dental management of cancer, transplant and cardiology patients. Dr. Roettger also continues to treat patients at his private practice in Stillwater, Minnesota.

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  • Last modified on September 11, 2013