Costa Rica is amongst the top 5 countries in the world that people choose to get medical procedures done. You can check out here the top reasons why Costa Rica is chosen by millions every year to get their medical procedures done at an affordable price, without ever having to compromise quality or your security.
For those of you who are just starting to research about what medical and dental Tourism is all about, we’ve got you covered.
First of all, dental tourism is a category of medical tourism. Medical tourism and dental tourism in Costa Rica has been offered for the past 40 years. As we stated before, Costa Rica is one of the top places to get medical procedures done. Our incredible internationally trained and bilingual dentists and their modern dental clinics equipped with state of the art technology is the top reason why people choose Costa Rica to get medical and dental procedures done, such as dental implants.
So, what is dental tourism exactly?
In order to learn more about what dental tourism is all about, you’ll want to have a little bit of background on to how this practice began.
Medical tourism, which is also known as medical travel or health tourism is the activity of traveling to another country to receive medical and healthcare services.
Originally, this term was used to describe tourists who traveled from less developed countries to developed countries with major medical centers that offered treatments they couldn’t get at home.
Today, this term is mostly used to describe those tourists who travel from developed countries to less developed countries to receive high quality medical and healthcare services at more affordable prices.
Besides getting lower rates on medical procedures, patients can expect first-class facilities, shorter wait times, bilingual staff, and the same high-quality medical and healthcare procedures that they would get back home.
There are three main reasons why patients choose to travel abroad for a medical procedure.
The first one is long wait times and inefficiencies in the healthcare system. In Canada for instance, the median wait time in 2017 between referral from a general practitioner and receipt of treatment was of 21.2 weeks.
The second main reason for medical tourism is the exorbitant high costs of medical procedures.
In some cases, the cost of a procedure in another country is half the cost of the procedure in the more developed country; and even when you add in travel expenses, patients still save a significant sum of money.
Finally, the third main reason to travel abroad for medical procedures is the insurance coverage. Some people don’t have insurance, others are underinsured. There are also many procedures that patients’ insurances won’t cover, like the All on 4® implants. In these cases, it’s more affordable for the patients to travel abroad and receive medical care than using their insurances or paying for the procedures out of pocket.
Each day, traveling is getting more accessible and affordable, which has made traveling for medical purposes and combining it with a vacation, a reality.
Dental Tourism in Costa Rica
Dental tourism in Costa Rica has been a popular practice amongst patients who are in need of high-quality and reliable medical services at a lower cost.
Costa Rica, besides being known internationally for its beaches, mountains, volcanoes and forests, it’s also well known for its people, education, technology and medical services.
Costa Rica is a Central American country that has been offering affordable medical and health services to foreigners for more than 40 years.
Costa Rica is already one of the most sought travel destinations amongst tourists, which has resulted in the creation of many direct flights to Costa Rica from main cities in the United States, Canada and Europe.
This, along with our high healthcare standards and bilingual and international trained and certified doctors have attracted millions of medical tourists that seek medical and dental work at affordable prices.
And, as an added bonus, in Costa Rica, medical tourists can squeeze in, in most cases, some sight-seeing or one-day tours and activities in which they can experience the richness of the Costa Rican culture.
Medical Tourism Procedures in Costa Rica
Almost every common medical and health procedure offered in the United States, Canada or Europe can be performed in Costa Rica without sacrificing quality.
There are, of course, a set of very common procedures that Americans, Canadians and Europeans seek in other countries, mainly due to their elevated costs in their hometowns and/or lack of insurance.
The most common procedures tourists seek in Costa Rica are:
- Dental procedures such as dental implants, full mouth reconstructions, cosmetic dentistry, dental crowns and bridges, veneers, dentures, etc.
- Orthopedic procedures such as knee, hip and shoulder replacements
- Bariatric surgery procedures such as gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric banding (lap band)
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures such as breast implants, rhinoplasty, otoplasty, neck lift, facelift, etc
- Dermatological procedures such as early skin cancer detection, treatment of diseases in the nails, chronic ulcers and burns
- Cosmetic dermatology such as facial cleansing and moisturizing, microdermabrasion, chemical peelings, advanced laser technologies, botox, fillings, etc
Common Costa Rica Medical Tourism Concerns
1. Doctor’s Qualifications
The first concern that most medical patients express is the doctors’ qualifications. Most people are dubious about traveling to a foreign country to undergo medical procedures because they believe the doctors in those countries are less qualified than the ones in the United States, Canada or Europe, for example.
This might be true if you are traveling to a country that doesn’t have the same health and medical standards of American, Canadian, and European doctors. But, in Costa Rica, there are many doctors, physicians and dentists that are educated in the States and European medical schools.
These doctors undergo the same years and training at school as any other American, Canadian or European doctor would. Oftentimes, these doctors are fully accredited and certified not only by our Costa Rican institutions but also by American and European institutions as well.
If you do decide on coming to Costa Rica to undergo a medical procedure, make sure you get recommendations for doctors and dentists that can ensure their high-quality education and services.
As with any other country, including the US, Canada and Europe, there will be good and bad practitioners, and you must always research for the best dentists and doctors whether you’re getting your procedure done in Central America or the United States.
2. Quality and Equipment of Hospitals, Clinics and Medical Facilities
Another popular concern among medical patients is the quality and equipment of the hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities.
Just as with doctors, there are hospitals and clinics that choose to undergo international accreditations in order to have international standards of quality within their facilities.
Many hospitals and clinics in Costa Rica are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI) or the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International (AAAASFI).
Thanks to the thousands of tourist patients that many Costa Rican hospitals, clinics and facilities receive each year, and their international accreditations, these hospitals, clinics and health facilities have cutting edge equipment and are able to offer the most modern procedures to their patients.
Most medical equipment and products used in these hospitals, clinics and facilities are imported from the United States. In the case of Costa Rican dentists, for example, they use the same products for crowns, implants and veneers that your dentist would use in the United States, Canada or Europe.
3. Language Barrier
The third major concern of most medical tourists is the language barrier. Medical terms are complicated to understand in our own languages, it’s only natural that understanding them in a language that’s not your own would be nearly impossible.
Fortunately, in Costa Rica, we have doctors and dentists that have studied and trained in American, Canadian and European medical and dental schools which require them to understand and speak almost perfect english.
Just as well, Costa Rica is known for it’s english speaking human resource, which is why doctors and dentists can offer fully bilingual medical staff, this will depend of course on the doctor or dentist you choose, but, you can be assured you will be able to find english speaking doctors, dentists and medical staff in Costa Rica.
Remember, the most important aspect to consider about medical tourism is to not lose quality. Yes, you are seeking to do some medical tourism primarily due to the costs, but you must also and always take into account quality.
The whole idea of medical tourism is to undergo the same medical and health procedures as you would in your own country of residence, with the same quality but at a more affordable price.
Health Care in Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s overall health care system and quality standards are recognized worldwide by international health institutions.
Even though Costa Rica is not categorized as a developed country, it sure gives developed countries a rundown when it comes to health care standards.
The United Nations has ranked in many occasions Costa Rica’s public health system as the best in Latin America and one of the top 20 in the world!
The Word Health Organization ranks Costa Rica 36th out of 191 countries for it’s overall efficiency of health care systems.
How Does Dental Tourism in Costa Rica Work?
Dental tourists, just like any other medical tourism category, travel to other countries to undergo dental procedures that are either too expensive or are not financially accessible to them.
Lack of dental insurance, high insurance deductibles and long wait times are the most common reasons for dental tourism.
Dental tourism is also commonly called dental vacations or dental holidays, because, due to fast recoveries, patients can combine their dental procedures with relaxing and exciting vacations, especially if we’re talking about dental tourism in Costa Rica.
If you’re considering having a dental procedure overseas you probably already have Costa Rica at the top of your list of countries in which to take that dental trip.
Costa Rica is among the most popular dental tourists’ locations, because besides getting your smile enhanced, you can explore one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.
Costa Rica is known worldwide not only because of it’s beautiful beaches, mountains and volcanoes, but also because of it’s highly trained and bilingual professionals, and this includes highly qualified, bilingual Costa Rican dentists and high quality, technological and modern dental clinics in Costa Rica.
Dental tourism in Costa Rica has been particularly popular among Americans and Europeans for the past years, and with good reason. Besides the fact that Costa Rica has direct flights to main cities in the United State, Canada and Europe, Costa Rica is a beautiful and safe country, it has no army or political unrests and it has highly qualified dentistry professionals and clinics.
This is why 42% of medical tourists come to Costa Rica for dental procedures. There are many reasons for this, but the most important one is the low costs and high quality. Most dental tourists can end up saving up to 60% by getting a dental procedures done in Costa Rica.
Common Dental Procedures Performed in Costa Rica
42% of all medical tourists in Costa Rica come to get a dental treatment. Whether it’s a root canal or a cosmetic dentistry procedure, we have some of the best dentists you can find worldwide, english spoken, certified and accredited by major international dental institutions such as:
- American College of Prosthodontics
- American College of Oral Implantology
- American Society of Osseointegration
- International Congress of Oral Implantologists
- Royal College of Dentists of Canada
- Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons
- American Association of Periodontics, (AAP)
- National Association of Periodontics and Implantologists
- Hispanic Dental American Association
- Academy of Osseointegration
The most common Dental procedures that Americans, Canadians and European patients undergo in Costa Rica are full mouth reconstructions and dental implants.
Because of the high costs of these treatments back home, travelling to a country such as Costa Rica to get these procedures seems like the perfect investment.
Costa Rica Dental Prices
Both medical and dental procedures in Costa Rica are a fraction of the prices charged in the United States, Canada and Europe.
|Procedure||Average US Price||Average Costa Rica Price||Percentage Saved|
|Dental Implants||$4500 (does not include CT Scan)||$1500(includes Zimmer® Implants, CT Scan, Implant Uncovering, Abutment and Implant and Supported Crown)||65%|
|All on 4® Procedure in 1 Day (Final prosthesis in ZirkonZahn Zirconia)||$24,000||$14,500||40%|
|All on 4® Procedure in 1 Day (Final prosthesis in Metal Acrylic)||$15,000||$9,500||40%|
|Full Mouth Reconstruction||$35,000 – $80,000||$18,000 – $20,000||75%|
|Dental Crowns (Smith Sterling Crowns)||$1000||$400||60%|
|Dental Crowns (ZirkonZahn Crowns)||$560||$1200||60%|
|Porcelain Veneers||$1500||$300 – $500||65% – 80%|
The previous prices are averages and the prices may vary depending on the specific needs of the patient.
Some procedures will require you to take two trips to Costa Rica, for example some types of implants will need two trips as some implant types need time for osseointegration.
Remember that you have to budget for airplane tickets, hotels and lodging, transportation, food and tour and activities if interested.
At Care Overseas, we understand how hard it is to book and plan a trip, even more so a dental trip, which is why we quote everything for you with our trusted and allied suppliers. From the best dentists in Costa Rica to the nearest, nicest and most affordable hotels, we provide you with a custom dental package quote, completely FREE.
If you’re interested in not lifting a finger and having experienced travel professionals plan your dental trip for you, contact us today, and start your journey towards a better, healthier, smile.