Every year, thousands of travelers, mostly Americans, hop a jet or cruise ship and travel south for Costa Rica Dental Tourism
The reason? American dentists are... well... expensive. Really costly. And, Costa Rica dentists are... well... way cheaper. Sometimes, as much as 60-70% cheaper.
Unfortunately, four of every ten Americans don't have dental insurance and the cost of many dental procedures is simply so prohibitive that they go without needed care. And, even for those fortunate to have dental insurance, the deductible or co-pay often leads to the same result.
Dental implants are illustrative of the problem Americans face. Even basic implants can cost thousands of dollars---each. Can you imagine being charged nearly $9,000 for just three implants?
The American dental establishment has defended (the indefensible, in my view) costs by arguing that American dentists are highly trained in American universities and use American-made, hence high quality, implants. One has to wonder, then, how it can be that Costa Rica dentist, also highly trained, many of whom are graduates of American dental schools, can offer really low cost dental implants using the same American-made implants used in the States?
The short answer, in part, is this. American dentists can charge what they do because, for many years, consumers haven't had anywhere else to go.
That's no longer the case. Just a few hours from the States lies tiny Lain American country, long
famous for its tropical vacations. 800 miles of beaches on two great oceans, magnificent volcanoes, and a country committed to developing medical and dental tourism characterized by high quality care coupled with amazingly affordable prices.
Quality dental care is so affordable in this Central American country that more than a third of all its medical tourists now come for dental surgery or dental implants. Costa Rica Dental Implants costing up to $3,000 in the United States are typically between $500-$750 in this tropical paradise. That's 75%+ cheaper than some dental offices charge in America for the same procedure.
Periodontal surgery that is at least $2,500 in America is often only about $400 in Costa Rica. Great care at an amazing price and enough money left over to enjoy a great Costa Rica vacation.
With American dental costs heading into the stratosphere, tens of thousands of U.S. patients, armed with the internet or informed from the experiences of their friends and family, now travel south and combine dental tourism with their Costa Rica vacations.
For years, many Americans traveled to Mexico for their vacations and dental procedures but, with the terrible violence now wracking it, it's considered simply too dangerous for many travelers or medical tourists.
Far away places like Thailand and India offer some fine, affordable dental care but the flights are very long and the airfares very expensive.
For those fortunate enough to have dental insurance but unfortunate enough to have such a high co-pay that it's unaffordable to go to the dentist in their home town, many American dental plans gladly extend insurance coverage to Costa Rica because of their cost savings and their customers' high satisfaction rates. Check with your carrier before traveling, of course.
Many Costa Rica dental professionals are very competitive with one another. Not only are their prices extraordinary, some even include accommodations in the cost of your dental care! When was the last time your dentist offered to put you up in a hotel just to get your business?
Why Choose Costa Rica?
Popularity of Costa Rican dental tourism can be determined from the statistics provided by the Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rica Medicine (PROMED), in which the council states that nearly 25,000 medical travelers headed to Costa Rica in 2008, of which nearly 36% opted for some kind of dental work.
What's more, the country is ranked higher than that of US by the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Costa Rican dentistry is often considered the best in the world in terms of cost and quality of the dental treatment and procedures.
- Located between Panama and Nicaragua in Central America, this small county's main selling point is that it offers all kinds of dentistry procedures at Prices that are approximately 50-75% of the US, UK, Canada, and most affluent countries. Because the dental treatment in Costa Rica is cheaper it doesn't mean in any way that it would be of lower quality.
- Another major draw is availability of all kinds of dental treatments, ranging from simple less invasive procedures to a more complex dental procedure. The whole range of general and aesthetic dental services, including root canals, crowns, veneers, and implants, is on par with, or even better than, treatment you would receive at home.
There are many qualified dentists in this country who have been trained in the US or Western Europe and are known as one of the country's best in the dentistry field. The internationally trained medical, paramedical and healthcare staff in licensed clinics can speak flawless English and offer very good post-surgery care.
The internationally accredited Costa Rican dental clinics are located mainly in the capital city, San Jose, Liberia and other major towns. These clinics are comparable with the best anywhere else in the world in terms of quality of dental care.
One of the most literate countries in the world, the country has an extremely efficient medical system that enables foreign healthcare seekers to have immediate access to cutting edge dental treatments. The country's medical facilities have not only caught up to western standards, but also are capable of completing any kind of dental treatment in a much shorter time frame than you could expect in your local clinic.
As Costa Rica is quite close to the US and Canada, it tends to be a convenient and appealing choice for American and Canadian denizens. The country's proximity to these countries makes American and Canadian patients' dental trip to this nearby country very hassle-free.
Given that prices are so much cheaper in Costa Rica than other countries, tourists can take advantage of the savings they make on their dental work to cover the cost of the trip and pay for a relaxing holiday afterwards.
Also known as the "Switzerland of Central America," this Central American country boasts gorgeous Pacific coast beaches, lush forests and rainforests. So, if you are considering some kind of dental treatment which could subsidize your relaxing peaceful holiday, think about coming to Costa Rica and going back home with a stunning smile on your face.
- Select a qualified and internationally trained dentist and a superior quality clinic for your treatment.
- For cosmetic dentistry, look only for a licensed implantologist, prosthodontist or maxilofacial surgeon.
- The aspiring dental tourist should be familiar with the Costa Rican healthcare law and have a good idea about what national guidelines are in place for dental professionals and foreign patients.
If your jawbone has deteriorated and requires a bone grafting but you wish to have your treatment done in any touristy place with minimal expenditure, then you will probably find Dental Bone Graft in Costa Rica an interesting option. Many private dental clinics in Costa Rica have associated travel agents that arrange for your post-operative vacation. The affordable Dental Vacation Packages in Costa Rica, which often include a pickup and drop-off service, pre-surgery examination, clinic charges, doctor's fee and a holiday package following the treatment, have always lured numerous medical tourists from various parts of the world.