Costa Rica has been the dental implant mecca for quite some time. If you’ve already consulted with your hometown dentist, you already know that dental implants are not cheap, and they are not covered by most health insurances, which is why you might be looking for dental implants overseas.
Dental implants might not be cheap, however, they are a much needed solution for when you have suffered from tooth loss; which is why many patients turn to seek dental implants abroad in places such as Costa Rica, which has been known to have the best quality dental implants at the most affordable prices.
1 What are Dental Implants?
2 Cost of Dental Implants in Costa Rica
2.1 Experience of dentist
2.2 Materials used
3 Dental Implants Procedure in Costa Rica
3.1 First Stage: Surgery
3.2 Second Stage: Placement of Prosthetic Tooth
4 Benefits of Dental Implants
5 Dental Implants Considerations
Dental implants are the same in North America, Europe and Costa Rica. Materials and quality are the same, specially when you have dentists that have studied abroad and are certified members of the top dental speciality boards in North America and Europe.
Dental implants are used to replace a missing tooth.
Despite having better dental care and hygiene practices, many patients still suffer from tooth loss.
The main reasons people suffer from tooth loss are:
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Tooth injury
The most common solution or fixes for tooth loss are either dental bridges or dentures.
However, we now have a better and not only more aesthetic solution but a more natural, comfortable, and durable solution for tooth loss: dental implants.
Dental implants will permanently replace the root of the tooth with a titanium screw that is surgically implanted into the bone.
Dental implants are composed of two elements, the first one is the titanium screw and the second one is the abutment and crown. The titanium screw is not visible as it is covered by the crown.
The results of well placed dental implants can change your life. From being able to chew naturally to improved comfort, dental implants are like a dream come true for patients who have struggled with tooth loss for many years.
Dental Implants in the Costa Rica can go anywhere from $800 – $1500. In the US, Dental Implants can cost you from $3000 to $6000 per tooth, this includes the screw and the abutment and crown. The total cost of the procedure will vary depending on your circumstances.
The cost of dental implants overseas might vary from country to country. Costa Rica is one of the countries that offer the lowest costs with the highest quality.
In Costa Rica, the cost of dental implants can go anywhere from $1500 to $2500 per tooth.
Cost breakdown for implants in the US and Costa Rica:
|Implant Piece||Price USA||Price Costa Rica|
|The implant (what’s placed in the bone):||$1600 – $2000||$800 – $1200|
|The abutment (what’s screwed into the implant)||$275 – $450||$200 – $400|
|The crown (what gets attached to the abutment)||$1000 – $3000||$500 – $800|
If you need implants for multiple teeth, the costs of the dental implants will most likely be higher; and depending on the teeth you need to replace, there are different options in the market.
Some factors that affect total dental implant costs:
- How many teeth need to be replaced?
- Are the teeth adjacent?
- Where are the teeth to be replaced located?
- Are there any healthy teeth on either side of the open area?
- Is the gumline healthy?
- Is there enough bone to support the implant?
- Are there any teeth that need to be removed before adding the implants?
- Are there any teeth that need root canal or cavity treatments before adding the implants?
If you need to replace all the teeth, whether it’s the upper or lower section or both, there is an alternative called denture implants or full mouth dental implants.
Typically, these can be mounted on 4, 6 or 8 teeth. The procedure is called All on 4®, All on 8®, or All on 6® depending on your needs. You can read more about this type of implant here.
If there is not enough bone to support the implant, then the patient will need to undergo a previous procedure called bone graft, which is when the bone is placed in the patient’s jaw.
Other factors related to dental implant costs:
Getting dental implants is literally a life decision. You will invest a great deal of money in order to have a better quality of life; which is why you shouldn’t settle for the cheapest, but you should be able to find an affordable solution with experienced highly qualified dentists.
At Care Overseas we know that choosing a dentist abroad is tough, it’s time consuming and there are so many options to choose from, but ,which of all the dentists and dental clinics that have great reviews on dental directories are really qualified to treat you?
As yourselves, we care about our dental health and our wallet, and we have already made the research for you. Because we have a local team, we’re able to evaluate and recommend only the best most experienced dentists and dental clinics in Costa Rica for dental implants.
The dental clinics recommended have been previously evaluated and we have interviewed their dentists for you, which is why we can say we recommend the best and most qualified dentists and dental clinics in Costa Rica, and the ones that will provide a service and final result that is comparable to the United States or Canada.
Titanium implants have been in the market since the 1960s. Titanium is a really strong metal that is lightweight, nontoxic, and corrosion resistant.
Unlike zirconia implants, titanium implants are two separate pieces, allowing dentists to have more control over the elements.
Because titanium implants have been used for so long, there is a proven long-term success rate of about 95%. Patients have had their titanium dental implants in good condition for more than 20 years.
Zirconia implants have been in the market since late 1980s in Europe and 2007 in the United States.
Zirconia or zirconium oxide (when zirconium becomes ceramic) is the crystal form of the transitional metal zirconium, which is why zirconia implants are often marketed as “metal free”.
Zirconia implants have the synthetic tooth root and the abutment connected, making them a one-piece implant.
Unfortunately, zirconia implants haven’t been in the market long enough to determine their long-term success rate.
Both implant materials are biocompatible allowing for osseointegration, which means that it allows bone to grow around the implant, just as it grows around natural tooth roots.
Deciding on whether to get a titanium or a zirconia implant depends greatly on the patient.
Some factors to consider include:
- Cost of titanium implant vs cost of zirconia implant:
Zirconia implants are more expensive than titanium implants. The cost of the zirconia implant to the dentist (just the piece) ranges between $500 to $600, whereas the cost of the titanium implant to the dentist (just the piece) ranges between $300 to $500.
Both titanium and zirconia implants with consultation, imaging, mapping, materials, surgery, etc can cost anywhere from $3000 to $6000 per implant.
- Osseointegration and soft tissue healing:
Both zirconia and titanium implants are biocompatible and will result in a correct integration with the bone and gums.
- Quality of material:
Titanium implants are very strong, they have high bend strength and resist fracture.
Zirconia has a lower elasticity, which can lead to small fractures, however it’s a material that is hard and strong.
As mentioned before, titanium implants are proven to last more than 20 years with the appropriate dental care.
Zirconia implants are still being researched to determine their long-term success rate. However, older versions of zirconia have been known to fracture, requiring new implants.
- Ease of placement:
Due to their time in the market, titanium implants are fairly easy for dentists to place when there is good bone density and bone health. Zirconia implants are a bit more challenging to place because they are one piece and this makes it harder for the dentist to place.
A major concern of patients with thin bone line or gum tissue is that a visible grey line due to the titanium implant color will develop under the gums or along the tooth ridge.
On patients with thin bone line or thin gum tissue, the abutment of the dental implant can be made off ceramic, this way the metallic color won’t show.
On the other hand, zirconia implants have a natural tooth looking color that does not show through the gums.
The procedure of dental implants will be exactly the same if f you’re looking to get your dental implants in Costa Rica.
The first step is planning.
First of all, the dentists in Costa Rica will most probably ask for the dental treatment plan your hometown dentist created for you along with any x-rays, CT Scan 3D Tomography, models, and photos.
With your hometown’s dentists dental implant plan, your dentist in Costa Rica will be able to get a better idea of what’s needed, and it will be easier for the dental clinics to give you an estimate.
Even though you send over the dental treatment plan, your dentists in Costa Rica will more than likely want to assess you personally and take their own images and x-rays.
If you don’t have a dental treatment plan from your hometown dentist or any images and x-rays, your dentist in Costa Rica will examine you and take the necessary x-rays, CT Scan 3D Tomography, models and photos and create one for you.
The dental treatment plan is unique for each patient’s situation. It takes into account different factors such as how many teeth need to be replaced and the condition of the jawbone.
During the planning stages, many dental specialists get involved:
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon: A doctor that specializes in conditions of the mouth, jaw and face.
- Periodontist: Dentist who specializes in structures that support the teeth.
- General Dentist: Dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry with dental crowns, bridges or dentures.
Depending on the type of implant and the condition of your jaw bone, the procedure will vary.
During the planning phase, the dentist will determine if single tooth implants are the best choice for you or if you’d be better off with full mouth dental implants which are carried out with a technique called All on 4®.
The most common dental implant protocol for single teeth implants is the two-stage method which requires the patient to come visit Costa Rica twice, and trust us, you will want to come back!
The surgery stage may or may not include bone grafting.
Bone grafting is basically a bone transplant from either another bone of the patient’s jaw or body, or from a cadaver or animal.
When bone grafting is needed, the two-stage method turns into a three-stage method (or for that matter three Costa Rican vacations) because the patient will need to wait 4 to 6 months in order for the bone transplant to grow enough new bone for the implant to be correctly supported.
Whether or not you need bone grafting is decided during the planning stage.
The surgery stage includes the following steps:
- Removal of damaged teeth, if needed.
- Jawbone preparation for surgery, if bone grafting is required, it’s performed during this step.
- Placement of dental implant post in jawbone.
Since implantation is an outpatient procedure, it does not require hospitalization
After the implant post is placed in the patient’s jawbone, the patient must wait from 4 to 6 months for the implant to osseointegrate and heal.
During this stage, the dentist will:
- Place the abutment (which is an extension of the implant)
- Place the dental crown or prosthetic tooth
It is vital that the crown is not immediately placed after the surgery, this can result in preventing osseointegration of the implant and therefore losing the implant all together.
There are more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to dental implants. Especially if you can get high quality ones for a fraction of the price.
If you’re looking to noticeably improve your quality of life, then dental implants are the right choice for you, here’s why:
- Improved appearance
Dental implants are made to be integrated with your own bone, which is why you can get permanent, natural and great looking set of teeth.
- Improved speech
If you’re already using a removable denture, you might have felt a difficulty speaking, as dentures are not permanently attached to your mouth, they will tend to move and slip within the mouth, causing you to mumble or slur your words. With dental implants, you do not have to worry about these, as they are integrated into your mouth.
- Improved comfort
Implants remove the uncomfortable feeling of removable dentures.
- Improved mastication
It’s no secret that removable dentures difficult chewing. With permanently attached teeth to your mouth, you will be able to enjoy food again.
- Improved self-esteem
With dental implants, you will feel better about yourself and will gladfully smile.
- Improved oral health
Because of the way dental implants are placed, your teeth are left intact, helping you to maintain and even improve your oral health. Individual implants can improve your oral health even more, as they leave access for cleaning in between the teeth.
Prior to determining if you are a good candidate for dental implants and the dental implant treatment plan, your dentist should assess and evaluate your individual needs in order to determine your individualized comprehensive treatment plan.
Some considerations dentists must take into account include:
- Available Bone
Your dentist must determine what is the bone availability to determine your individual dental implant requirements for optimal restoration.
There are three dimensions of available bone:
- Bone Density
Bone density is key in determining the treatment plan, the implant design, the surgical approach, the healing time and the type of loading during prosthetic reconstruction.
- Crown Height Space
There must be enough room between adjacent teeth for prosthetic components. The crown space will determine the type of prosthesis, material choices, and surgical technique that will be used.
- Periodontal Health
Dentists must assess the health state of the soft and hard supporting tissues of the dentition.
- Inclination of Adjacent Teeth
Dentists must determine if the adjacent teeth of where the implant will be placed have some sort of inclination, in order to avoid any root interference during implant placement.
Not all dental structures are alike, and each patient’s needs must be evaluated separately by the dentists.
No dental implant treatment is the same, and the overall cost of dental implants will be affected depending on each patient’s specific needs and treatment plan.
At Care Overseas we do care for the quality of service and products you receive. If you’re looking to get high quality dental implants overseas at a more affordable price, Costa Rica is probably the best location for you. If you want to learn more about why Costa Rica is the best and preferred location to get dental care, click here.
If you’re ready to get a customized dental implant trip package, fill in our form to get a free quote.
If you have further questions about Care Overseas, feel free to contact us with any further inquiries or concerns!