The increasing costs of healthcare often prompt people to seek treatment in unconventional places. These days, dental tourism is the next big thing, and Costa Rica is the hot new destination, where people combine a fun-in-the-sun vacation with one or more restorative or cosmetic dental treatments.
Why Dental Tourism?
Healthcare is big business, and the need for healthcare insurance in the US leaves many people suffering from lack of treatment, even after the Affordable Care Act helped millions gain access to insurance for which they couldn’t otherwise qualify. And when it comes to dental insurance the problem is even worse, because standard healthcare coverage typically does not include dental care. That’s why many people are turning to overseas clinics for the dental care they need. In places like Thailand, India, Hungary, and Costa Rica, Americans can receive quality dental treatment at a fraction of the price, and enjoy a relaxing vacation after the treatment is completed. In Costa Rica, for example, surgical dental procedures like implants and veneers cost half or a third of what they cost in the US.
Photo courtesy of Advance Dental, the Costa Rica Dental Tourism Experts
What You Need to Know When Planning a Trip
Just as you would on any overseas vacation, it’s important to do some research about the country you’re visiting before you leave; and, of course, it’s even more important to make good choices about the dentist you choose to visit in Costa Rica. As in any country, it’s important to be aware of the risk of scams and other forms of malpractice, and to ensure that the dentist you choose is registered as a specialist in whatever procedure you’re having. There are also the standard things anyone needs for an overseas vacation: passport, visa, travel and medical insurance coverage for unforeseen circumstances. It might seem odd to need healthcare and travel insurance when you’re traveling to obtain healthcare, but the reality is that it’s still necessary to purchase travel insurance, because it’s not usually covered in the costs of the treatment you’re getting. There’s also the fact that accidents and minor mishaps like lost luggage can happen even before you receive treatment, and it’s always better to be protected than to leave yourself open to potential problems.
Popular Dental Tourism Treatments
Costa Rica dental tourism provides the opportunity to get a wide range of treatments, from inexpensive whitening, to costly tooth replacement surgery, all at a fraction of the cost.
Dental implants are the permanent solution to problems caused by missing teeth, and they can replace one tooth, or an entire mouthful, depending on your needs. They look like natural teeth and function like natural teeth too, much more so than any other kind of tooth replacement. The implant itself is a titanium screw that is implanted into the jaw by an oral surgeon; once the implants have healed over, the replacement tooth is permanently attached. In the US, replacing a single tooth in this way can cost around $2,500; in Costa Rica, it’s $800. A full-mouth replacement is around $90,000 in the US; again, Costa Rica dentists charge one third of this figure, or approximately $30,000.
Porcelain restorations like veneers and crowns can cost up to $1,000 in the US. People getting the work done in Costa Rica pay around $375 per veneer, and $400 per crown. Veneers are a cosmetic procedure in which the front surface of a tooth is covered with a thin slice of porcelain, to improve the color and shape of the tooth. A crown typically covers the entire tooth, providing support or protection for a tooth that has been weakened by decay.
Tooth-whitening is another popular treatment, especially for people who just want a quick fix for a set of teeth that’s in good physical shape, but has become discolored due to tobacco use, coffee or tea drinking, or the use of medications like tetracycline. Tooth-whitening uses chemical solutions or lasers to whiten and brighten teeth, to enhance a naturally gorgeous smile. In the US, a typical course of tooth-whitening treatment costs up to $800; for people in Costa Rica, it’s $450 or so. People often get this treatment on the spur of the moment, since it’s overall a relatively inexpensive procedure that can have dramatic results.
Author: this is an article sent in by site reader Sally Angus