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Costa Rica Dental Procedures: Achieve a beautiful smile through quality, affordable and proven dentistry.

It's a New Year. Happy 2016!

So are you smiling?

Unfortunately, many of you are holding back that grin due to a lack of self confidence associated with dental issues. Combined with the inability to address them as a result of the often prohibitive cost of dental procedures (especially in the United States and Canada) and it's no wonder you haven't turned that frown upside down.

A 2014 poll conducted on behalf of the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute confirmed that the number 1 reason people did not seek dental care, was cost.

As we have written about before, dental travel to Costa Rica, often referred to as dental tourism, has become a very popular and proven solution for those seeking safe, quality and affordable dental care from select quality dentists and specialists. Patients routinely save 50% - 70% on dental costs.

We regularly assist hundreds of patients who contact us with a variety of dental issues, seeking quality and reliable dentistry. From fillings and crowns to full mouth restoration, almost any dental procedure you need can be addressed in Costa Rica without sacrificing safety or high quality. In fact, almost all patients feel the dental care in Costa Rica exceeds the care they receive at home in the U.S. and Canada.

To give you a general introduction, we highlighted 3 common procedures people travel to Costa Rica to take care of. We included a brief explanation of each procedure as well as the average cost of the dental procedures in Costa Rica compared to the U.S.

Dental Implants in Costa Rica

By a significant margin, dental implants in Costa Rica rank as the number one method for replacing missing teeth for patients traveling to Costa Rica for dental care. This is partially due to the fact that many U.S. dental insurance plans still do not cover dental implants, even though implants are the closest replacement to your natural teeth.

What are they? Dental Implants act as tooth root replacements. Implants are typically made of titanium and look similar to a screw.

The implant(s) are surgically placed under the gum into the jaw at the location of missing teeth. Restoration is completed with a crown or "tooth" that is attached and placed over the implant usually 3-6 months later once the implant has integrated with the bone in your jaw, ensuring stability. Other prosthetic devices such as bridges and dentures can also be attached to dental implants.

What is the cost? Individual dental implants in Costa Rica typically cost $800 per implant. In the U.S., the average can range significantly from $1,500 to $3,000 per implant depending on your dentist and the area you live in. The crown over the implant typically costs $700 in Costa Rica, while it can range from $1,200 - $2,000 in the U.S.

Dental crowns in Costa Rica

Many people are familiar with crowns, also commonly referred to as "caps" by patients.

What are they? A dental crown is shaped like a tooth and placed over an existing tooth to restore shape, size, strength, alignment and/or to ensure proper occlusion (bite). They are typically made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal and Zirconia. Once cemented into place, the crown fully encases the portion of a natural tooth that lies within it.

What is the cost? On average, the cost of a crown ranges between $400 - $525 in Costa Rica depending on the type of material used. In the U.S., on average the pricing ranges from $900 - $2,000 depending on the dentist and which material is used.

Dental bridges in Costa Rica (including implant supported)

Another popular method of replacing missing teeth is a bridge. Unlike implants, bridges will require treating healthy teeth adjacent to the missing teeth in order to support the bridge, unless the bridge is supported by implants.

What are they? Bridges are a fixed prosthetic device commonly used to cover or "bridge" a space if you're missing one or more teeth. They are attached to natural teeth or implants surrounding the space where the teeth once stood, providing stability.

What is the cost? A conventional three-unit bridge in Costa Rica will cost approximately $1,300 and in the U.S. it averages $2,300 - $4,000. If the bridge is supported by dental implants, the cost of the implants would be in addition to the cost of the bridge.

Of course, there are many other procedures available and in future posts we will further highlight and go more in depth regarding treatment options, what the experience is like for you the patient, as well as pros and cons related to each procedure.

Everyone deserves to confidently express happy moments in their life through a warm beautiful smile, without any shame or lack of confidence.

It is a new year. Now is the best time to move forward to achieve a healthy mouth and a smile you can happily share for a lifetime.

Give us a call so we may answer all of your questions and concerns as well as provide you a free consultation and preliminary pricing.

You can reach Costa Rican Dental Solutions by phone toll free at (800) 931-2737 or online at costaricandentalsolutions.com

Dental Work in Costa Rica: High-Quality Services at Affordable Prices

Good oral and dental hygiene can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It can also help you retain your original teeth as you get older. Unfortunately, many people avoid the dentist due to an inability to pay.

According to research published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40% of adults age 18-64 failed to see a dentist in 2013. To obtain high-quality and affordable services, many people are opting to travel out of the country to obtain their dental work in Costa Rica.

The Central American country has quickly become a popular destination for trusted dental care in a comfortable environment and the savings compared to the U.S. and Canada can be substantial.

In fact, visiting a quality Costa Rican dentist routinely saves travelers 50% - 70% on dental procedures including implants, root canals, veneers, crowns and bridges, among many others.

Best of all, these patients usually receive higher quality dental work in Costa Rica that they would experience back home.

For example, receiving dental implants in Costa Rica is especially popular for those seeking a safe, quality and affordable solution to tooth loss. Unfortunately, many U.S. dental insurance plans won't cover the procedure.

As you may know, dental implants act as replacement tooth roots, providing a strong, stable foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth, made to look and function like your natural teeth. They can improve the appearance of your smile, slow bone loss and help many patients regain proper eating habits.

A crown (tooth) is attached to the implant usually 3-6 months later after the bone has integrated with the implant.

The cost for full restoration (implant, abutment and crown) in Costa Rica averages $1,500 while in the U.S., the same restoration using the very same trusted dental brands utilized in North America, will typically cost $3,500 or more.

With a qualified Costa Rican provider, you can finally achieve oral health and transform your smile without breaking the bank.

Proven and high quality certified specialists in implants, prosthodontics, endodontics and oral and maxillofacial surgeons are on hand to cater to the various dental needs of each individual patient.

Furthermore, dental care in Costa Rica can be experienced in many internationally accredited clinics, relieving any anxiety patients may have about standards outside their own country.

Traveling to Costa Rica is easy and just 1 to 5 hours by airplane from most major cities in the U.S., making it an excellent choice for people in need of dental procedures ranging from cosmetic to full mouth restoration.

There's no denying that a healthy smile can improve your appearance, boost your confidence, and enhance your professional and personal life. Your smile is often the first thing someone notices when they look at you, and if you're feeling self-conscious about the look of your teeth, it shows.

According the Health Policy Institute of the ADA, dental care utilization in 2012 was at its lowest level among working age adults since the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey tracked dental care use in 1996. Adults who did not plan on visiting the dentist in the upcoming year, cited cost as one of the primary reasons for not seeking care.

Fortunately, quality, inexpensive dental care is in reach and thousands are taking advantage of first class dentistry provided by a professionally trained and certified Costa Rica dentist.

While the lower prices associated with dental work in Costa Rica is what draws many tourists in, it's the quality services, high-grade materials, and friendly and comfortable atmosphere that keeps them coming back again and again. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

Costa Rica Dental Tourism: Save Money on Your New Smile

Maintaining proper dental care ensures more than just a flashy white smile. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits have been proven to reduce your risk of cavities, as well as associated chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

However, undergoing dental care in the United States is typically very costly, especially if cosmetic or extensive reconstructive work is desired or needed.

At the end of 2012, approximately 40 percent of the U.S. population did not have any dental benefits, according to data published by the National Association of Dental Plans.

For this reason, many individuals are seeking dental services outside their national borders. Commonly referred to as medical or dental travel and tourism, dental work in Costa Rica is offered at a fraction of the average price in the U.S. and the quality typically exceeds care received in North America.

Specifically, Costa Rica dental tourism has experienced a substantial growth in recent years, primarily due to rising healthcare costs in the U.S. and poor or inadequate dental insurance coverage.

Most patients find Costa Rican dentistry to be of a higher standard than what they experience with their local providers back home.

In fact, the World Health Organization ranked Costa Rica one of the top health care systems in Latin America and actually one spot higher than the United States, when they last analyzed the world's healthcare systems several years ago.

To the pleasant surprise and comfort of international patients, dentists in Costa Rica spend more time carefully explaining procedures and patiently answering all questions to ensure you are comfortable and at ease prior to starting your given procedure(s).

Further adding to its attractiveness as a dental destination, Costa Rica is in close proximity to the U.S. and Canada, which makes traveling to receive care easy and hassle-free.

Most major U.S. cities offer daily flights to Costa Rica and just a passport is needed for U.S. and Canadian citizens as well as several other nationalities.

After a fairly short airplane ride, you can be experiencing world class dental care while also enjoying the beautiful landscape, tropical beaches, and lush rainforests Costa Rica is famous for.

Many patients wisely choose to use their extensive dental savings to enjoy a vacation in Costa Rica before, during or after they undergo their dental treatment.

If you do venture away from home for high quality dental care, you'll also be glad to know that Costa Rica dental procedures, materials and equipment are essentially the same as those utilized in leading clinics in the U.S. and Canada.

A surprising little know fact is that many U.S. dental clinics outsource dental work to Costa Rica because of its high quality and low cost. You may have already experienced care here but unfortunately paid much more for it by staying home.

Dental procedures in Costa Rica include numerous general and cosmetic dentistry services, such as teeth whitening, composite fillings, veneers, crowns, bridgework, oral surgery, dentures, and tooth contouring and reshaping.

Receiving dental implants in Costa Rica has become extremely popular and is available for fully or partially edentulous patients.

Many patients also undergo full mouth restorations for less than half of the price of average U.S. rates.

Additionally, you will discover Costa Rica dental tourism is not only popular due to the low cost of quality treatment, but also due to the quality and experience of its staff and facilities.

Most Costa Rica dental clinics that cater to international patients have dentists and staff that speak fluent English, ensuring proper communication between you and your provider.

Costa Rica boasts cosmetic dentists, orthodontists, and other certified dental specialists who have extensive training and experience in the industry and continue to travel worldwide to ensure they remain leaders in quality dental care.

Don't be left out like many individuals who must pay out of pocket for dental procedures that are typically high in price. Unfortunately, many Americans are failing to get the help they need to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.

This often results in related health problems, lower self-esteem and a lesser quality of life.

Undergoing dental work in Costa Rica is an excellent option if you are in need of high-quality, safe and affordable dental services in a friendly, beautiful and comfortable country.

For more information about Costa Rica dentists and dental procedures, or to receive a free consultation, contact us today.

Part 2 Costa Rica Dental Care: Can You Trust It?

In addition to addressing other common questions,  Part 2 of this post will primarily focus on how patients can find and determine quality dentists in Costa Rica on their own or through using a consultant or facilitator.

If you missed Part 1 of this article, click here

We want to ensure you have an understanding of how dentistry works in Costa Rica and provide you with the proper tools to determine quality dental care.  

This will save you money, time and minimize risk related to any issues with your treatment.  "Knowledge is power " is especially true when it comes to your oral health and traveling for treamtent.
 

How do I find safe, quality providers?

Much of the information we have provided regarding dental care in Costa Rica is related to utilizing quality dentists, but you still must first identify them. 

This can be challenging, considering there are currently over 5,000 licensed and certified dentists in Costa Rica.

Patients typically choose providers through extensive online research on their own or by utilizing an individual or service like Costa Rican Dental Solutions, typically referred to as facilitators or medical/dental travel consultants.  Some choose providers through direct referral from a family member or friend.
 

Using Consultants, Facilitators-

Good facilitators are invaluable to the prospective patient.  They take the guesswork out of identifying safe, leading dentists through detailed knowledge of dentists and dentistry in the specific country or countries they specialize in.

They can save prospective patients weeks or months of research typically needed in the search process.

These individuals and organizations should be extremely knowledgeable about leading dentists, clinics and national laws and regulations concerning dentistry. 

They should also be knowledgeable about cultural issues, accommodations and other tourist related concerns in order to provide patients a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience during their stay.

Deciphering the vast amount of anecdotal and often manipulated information available on the internet, facilitators are a wealth of information through their local experience and expertise, frequently providing details and guidance patients cannot discover on their own. 

They have pre-screened and evaluated dentists and clinics to ensure they are safe, in good standing, and have a track record of providing quality dental care and service to  patients.

In the case of Costa Rican Dental Solutions, we spent approximately 3 years to understand and evaluate all aspects of dentistry in Costa Rica before welcoming our first guest. 

After carefully prescreening and selecting the best dentists and certified specialists based on several criteria, we also independently verified the professional and educational credentials of the dentists to ensure patients receive treatment from safe, reputable and proven providers.  Regarding clinics, all of them are internationally accredited.

We also reviewed, and continue to review feedback from our patients and thousands of other prior patients to ensure we only work with dentists who consistently provide quality dental care, evidenced by a history of happy, satisfied patients.

If you plan on using a facilitator, you should ask many questions to feel comfortable and confident when utilizing their services. 

How long has the facilitator been in business?  How many and what types of dentists do they work with?  How is the facilitator compensated? Are they based in the same country you will be receiving treatment? What criteria was used in prescreening dentists and clinics? Can they provide references?

These are just a few of many important questions. After speaking with them and evaluating their services, you will most likely have a good idea whether or not you wish to work with them.

Quality facilitators will provide you preliminary pricing and estimates free of charge based on your specific dental needs. 

They should not be diagnosing your condition and recommending treatment.  This should only be done by a licensed, certified dentist and then provided to the patient via the facilitator or directly from the provider.
 

On your own

You can find Costa Rican dentists and clinics on your own but be prepared to spend a lengthy amount of time both online and on the phone. 

Prospective patients should start by doing as much internet research as possible, reading testimonials and any other information available.

They should visit and consider joining one or more of the many free online forums dedicated to patients seeking dentistry in Costa Rica.  TripAdvisor and Topix are two such sites featuring these types of forums.

There is an overwhelming amount of dentist and clinic websites to choose from, as well as thousands of patient testimonials praising or condemning specific providers. 

It is suspected that some clinics employ marketing individuals who prowl sites and forums, acting as former patients in order to submit content favorable to their employer, or unflattering to competitors. 

This obviously creates a murkier environment for patients seeking to identify trusted care.

When reading posts, check to see if the person posting has one or more previous submissions on the forum or site and take a look at what they have written. 

You most likely will be able to form an opinion whether or not this is someone who appears genuine.  You should engage and ask questions to further assist you in your search.

You can of course contact clinics and speak directly to the dentist(s) you are considering. Dentists treating international patients speak English and usually have English-speaking staff. You can ask all of your related dental questions and also ask for references. 

The dentist will most likely provide you with prior patients who were thrilled with their treatment, but this is still another useful tool to aid you in your decision making process.

Another great resource for patients is the website for the Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Costa Rica, the government body which licenses and oversees dentists in the country.

Their website lists all licensed dentists and specialists in the country as well as any dentists who are currently suspended. 

You can also find a price list with the minimum pricing dentists must adhere to for various procedures. If dentists are charging less, this can be a red flag.  The website is in Spanish but your browser (Google for example) can translate the site to English.
 

If I believe the dentist was negligent or at fault, what type of recourse do I have?

As mentioned in Part 1 of this post, Costa Rican dentists are eager to address any concerns you may have regarding the treatment you received, usually free of charge. 

Beyond their truly genuine desire to ensure you are satisfied, they almost certainly want to avoid any bad press that can appear on the internet and through social media, which could potentially tarnish their reputation and affect future business.

However, if you feel the dentist is at fault and you can’t reach an agreement, or you are not interested in having the provider attempt to resolve the issue, you can contact the Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Costa Rica, Costa Rica’s version of the American Dental Association. 

The Colegio licenses and oversees all dentists in Costa Rica and ensures they abide by all local and national regulations.  They too want to make sure any issues you have are resolved to your satisfaction. 

They will mediate between you and the dentist and potentially provide access to another provider or recommend a solution that is satisfactory to you. 

It should be noted many staff members of the Colegio do not speak English so you should be prepared to utilize your command of Spanish or have a local or Spanish-speaking friend assist you when approaching them to initially report a complaint.

If you are still unsatisfied, you can file charges against the dentist in a Costa Rican court of law.  Please be advised that you will need a Costa Rican attorney for this and all legal documents must be submitted in Spanish. 

It can take several years and considerable costs for a case to be resolved in the Costa Rican legal system. 

If you prevail, the dentist may be suspended, have his/her license revoked and the clinic may be shut down in conjunction with the Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health), depending on the severity and nature of the charges.

It is rare that patients have any issues, especially rising to the level of approaching the Colegio or filing charges.   The vast majority of patients are extremely satisfied and delighted with the dental care they receive in Costa Rica.

Will I be able to sightsee and enjoy Costa Rica while I am there for treatment?

Beside quality and affordable dentistry, the great benefit of traveling to Costa Rica is to enjoy the phenomenal beauty of this country. 

Most dental patients have little or no recovery time and can use the immense savings from their dental care to enjoy sights and activities including rain forests, tropical beaches, volcanoes, hot springs, zip lining, whitewater rafting and a host of other world renowned features. 

Even patients receiving complete mouth restoration can usually find at least a day between appointments to take time and experience some of the country.  Of course, you can always come a few days before or after treatment to explore.
 

Why sacrifice your money and smile?

Your oral health and smile are extremely important to your wellbeing both physically and emotionally.  

If you feel cost is preventing you from acheiving necessary or desired dental care, you owe it to yourself and your financial health to use the information and tools we have provided in these posts and at least investigate other options available to you. 

The beauty of dental tourism in Costa Rica is that almost all dental patients return home with healthy new smiles and extra money in their pockets, even after adding the cost of air, hotel and other travel related expenses.

Why not combine a vacation and dental care for the same price or less than you would pay for just the procedures if staying home?

Whether you use a service like Costa Rican Dental Solutions, or you venture on your own, you can discover dentistry that commonly meets and exceeds dental care back home while costing you significantly less.  Definitely something to smile about.

Until our next post, we look forward to hearing from you with any questions. feedback or suggestions for future posts.

You can receive a free estimate based on your dental needs as well as much more information regarding dentistry in Costa Rica by visiting costaricandentalsolutions.com
You also can email us at info@costaricandentalsolutions.com
or call us toll free at 800-931-2737.