Low-cost Dental Vacations in Costa Rica

  • by vinaykumar
  • 09.05.13
  • 3:13 AM UTC

According to the National Coalition on Health Care, an alliance of more than 70 organizations, about half a million Americans sought medical care abroad in 2006, out of which 40 percent were dental tourists. This proves how more and more Americans are now turning their annual vacation into a cost effective dental holiday for their brood.

According to a report published in 2006 by HealthCare Tourism International, a nonprofit group, dental bridges and bonding are two of the most sought-after medical procedures for Americans traveling abroad. Costa Rica, Mexico and India are among the most popular destinations for dental care among tourists who travel to these countries to savor the exotic locales of these countries along with availing affordable dental care in the hands of expert dentists who have received their training at the best medical institutions in the world. Thousands of western tourists travel to Costa Rica for Dental Implants every year, considering that they save enough from the dental treatment in Costa Rica to enjoy a wonderful holiday in this exotic country.


Benefits of Getting a Dental Holiday in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the most sought after destinations in the world for a dental holiday. With medical travelers enjoying almost 70-75% in savings on dental treatments in Costa Rica, the country plays a welcoming host to innumerable dental tourists from all over the world every year. The fact that a huge percentage of Americans do not have a dental insurance and, therefore, cannot afford the costly dental treatment in the US, prompts them to explore nations such as Costa Rica for affordable dentistry. Also, getting dental treatment in Costa Rica means that one does not have to get into long waiting queues to get an appointment with the dentist. Most dental tourists receive prompt dental treatment when they arrive in Costa Rica.

Most dental tourists travel to Costa Rica for extensive dental work, such as dental bonding, dental implants, full restorations, root canals and cosmetic dentistry. These dental procedures are very costly in countries such as Canada and the US, and cosmetic dentistry in Costa Rica costs merely a fraction of what it costs in the US, even if one includes travel and accommodation expenses. These extensive dental treatments usually run for a few days which give the dental tourists a chance to enjoy this exciting, exotic country. The beautiful beaches, lush forests and an abundant biodiversity are the added attractions that make Costa Rica a favored dental tourism destination.

Low in Prices, High in Quality

Costa Rica provides high quality dental care which means that there are no compromises made in terms of the dental care provided, even if the expenses for the dental care are much lower than the costs of similar dental treatment in the US. This is also why the World Health Organization ranks the healthcare services in Costa Rica as among the best in the world. Costa Rica’s health system was ranked at no.36 (higher than US) by the World Health Organization in the year 2000. Dentistry in Costa Rica is tightly regulated by the government and the dental practitioners must be duly recognized by the Costa Rican Dental Surgeon’s College and the Costa Rican Dental Board.

The presence of internationally accredited hospitals in San Jose, Liberia and other major cities of Costa Rica make it convenient for the dental tourists to avail world class health services at very affordable rates. Many dental surgeons have affiliations with international medical boards and have received their training at world class medical institutions. The dental clinics in Costa Rica use sophisticated medical equipment and employ the latest technology for the dental treatment.

The small, peaceful and politically stable nation is a perfect gateway for dental tourists who seek a comfortable and cost effective dental holiday in this exotic nation.

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Planning a Medical Trip to Costa Rica

  • by vinaykumar
  • 28.08.12
  • 7:38 PM UTC

The World Health Organization estimates that on an average, Americans allocate 16% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product on healthcare. In comparison to other countries, this figure is extremely high, which is leading many Americans to get medical and dental care outside of the United States. Costa Rica is a premier destination for medical tourism. If you are thinking about taking a medical trip to Costa Rica, then you might be looking for a few tips to help you plan the best medical trip possible.

Do Your Homework Well

When you are planning your medical trip to Costa Rica, first:

  • Learn as much as you can about doctors and clinics that perform your desired procedure. Whether you desire breast implants or dental implants in Costa Rica, you should find a few different doctors offering the same service and see which one is right for you.
  • Know the doctor’s credentials. Remember, not all medical schools are created equal. Ask your doctor where he/she studied and if he/she has gone for any further education. When you go to Costa Rica for medical purposes, you want to get the best. Plenty of doctors in Costa Rica have studied at reputable medical schools, thus you shouldn’t settle for less.
  • Pick a clinic and doctor in an area that is enjoyable for you. If you are not fond of cities, then don’t pick a dentist or doctor right in the heart of San Jose. Instead, pick a smaller city such as San Miguel or Ipis.
  • Ask previous patients for their feedback. When you go to Costa Rica for medical treatment, you may not have the opportunity to meet the doctor and visit the clinic prior to the trip for your treatment. This makes it even more important to hear firsthand accounts of what the doctor and clinic is like. Ask the doctor to speak with a previous patient or look in online forums.
  • Plan your trip according to the weather and/or other travel factors. When you go for a procedure like bariatric surgery or teeth implants in Costa Rica, you want to be as comfortable as possible. In order to make that happen you should travel at the right time of year. If you don’t like rains, avoid planning your medical procedure in Costa Rica during the rainy season. If you aren’t fond of crowds, avoid the peak season. Plan your trip at a time that is conducive to a good trip.


During Your Medical Trip in Costa Rica

  • Stay in a hotel close to the clinic. The last thing you need to worry about while getting medical attention in Costa Rica is shuffling back and forth between the hotel and hospital or clinic. If at all possible, stay at a hotel within walking distance or a short drive from your clinic.
  • Plan to recover in Costa Rica. Don’t leave immediately after you medical treatment is done. Plan your medical trip to include at least a few days – if not more – in Costa Rica. This makes it easy for you to see the doctor if any follow-up session is required.
  • Trust your instinct. If, for some reason, you meet your doctor and don’t feel totally at ease, then acknowledge it even if you did all the necessary research on the doctor beforehand. Don’t feel obliged to go through with the procedure using a doctor that makes you feel uneasy just because you’ve come all the way to Costa Rica. No matter what procedure you need, there are plenty of other doctors who can see you in Costa Rica. The most important thing is that you should feel confident in his/her ability.
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Dental Vacation in Costa Rica for Retirees

  • by vinaykumar
  • 19.03.12
  • 10:25 PM UTC

Senior citizens are prone to a number of dental problems including but not limited to gum deterioration, loss of teeth, discoloration and so on. More than 25% of seniors over the age of 74 have lost all of their teeth, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Yet, with rising dental costs and limited insurance, quality dental care in the United States isn’t always the best option.

More and more retirees are turning to getting full mouth restorations, dental crowns and bridges and all on 4 dental implants abroad, especially in Costa Rica as the tiny Central American country has ensconced itself as a sunrise value-for-money dental tourism destination. The Academy of General Dentistry named Costa Rica as one of the best dental tourism destinations in the world in 2006.

Costa Rica – A Premier Dental Getaway for Retirees

There are a number of reasons why Costa Rica is a great destination for dental tourism, especially for retirees. Some of those reasons include:

  • Natural Beauty. Costa Rica is one of the most serene places on earth, filled with clean beaches, and an abundance of flora and fauna. Dental tourism gives you a great reason to visit Costa Rica and experience paradise on earth.
  • Dental Professionalism. Costa Rica has some great dental clinics. Many a dental clinic in Costa Rica is staffed with highly educated dentists. These clinics boast of highly experienced dental professionals, many of whom have practiced in the US and Europe. They are familiar with treating overseas patients, making it easy for them to understand American expectations.
  • Quality Treatment. In Costa Rica, you’ll be sure to be treated with all of the latest technology in comfortable clinics. The treatment that you receive in Costa Rica will be on par or better than that in the United States.
  • Cost. The number one reason that retirees are going to Costa Rica for dental work is to save up to 60% on their dental expenses.

Safety in Costa Rica

If you are considering traveling to Costa Rica for a dental holiday, you may be wondering if it is safe or not. No matter where you travel, as a foreigner you are an easier target for criminal activity. The best ways to guard yourself and have a great vacation are summed up below:

  • Avoid walking around alone after dark.
  • Avoid walking around in abandoned places, even if there are two or more of you.
  • Do not go anywhere alone with strangers or people you just met.
  • Arrange day trips or rental cars through reputable rental companies or your hotel.
  • Get to know your hotel staff, so that they are more aware of your coming and going.
  • Get the manager of the hotel’s mobile phone number if at all possible.
  • Do not carry large sums of cash with you.

These are a few tips that can help ensure that you remain safe and that you have a great holiday during your stay in Costa Rica.

Places to Visit When on a Dental Trip to Costa Rica

Costa Rica is most well known for its natural beauty. Luxuriant in beaches, mountains, flora and fauna, it is a nature lover’s dream come true. Some places you will want to visit during your dental vacation to Costa Rica include:

  • Tortuguero, aka “Costa Rica’s Amazon”, is easily explored by a vast network of canals that allow you to experience the depths of the jungle by boat.
  • Arenal Volcana is one of the most famous volcanoes Costa Rica has to offer.
  • Tamarindo Beach is an eco-friendly beach that also attracts a large surfer population.

If you would also like to experience some of the rich culture and history of Costa Rica, you should visit the following:

  • Cartago City is the home of the Black Madonna statue which people believe to have the ability to heal. Many pilgrims make their way to Cartago City every year.
  • Museo de Art Costarricense (Costa Rican Art Museum) is open seven days a week. People over 55 have free admittance.

Costa Rica has long been a favorite tourist destination and is now gaining popularity as a dental vacation destination for retirees. With ample services aimed at retirees, you can and will have the experience of a lifetime during your dental holiday in Costa Rica.

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Tips for Medical Tourists in Costa Rica

  • by vinaykumar
  • 15.02.12
  • 4:10 AM UTC
Every year more and more Americans are going abroad for medical treatments. After the recent recession, people have become more conscious about how they are spending their money and this extends to medical expenses as well.

According to a report titled “Recession slows dental spending” by Craig Palmer published on February 21, 2011 in the American Dental Association News, in 2009 after the recession, it was the first time in 50 years that there was a decline in dental expenditures in the United States.

However, it’s impossible to compromise on medical or dental health forever. That’s why people are opting for medical tourism. People are exploring options such as undergoing weight loss surgical procedures, plastic surgeries and even getting same day implants in Costa Rica instead of the United States to cut down costs. If you are considering medical tourism in Costa Rica, you might benefit from these helpful tips.

Is Costa Rica Right for Me?

The first thing you should determine when considering a medical procedure, be it a tummy tuck or getting low cost dental implants in Costa Rica, is whether the Latin American country is right for you or not. There are many other countries with an established medical tourism industry as well, so how do you know if Costa Rica is the place for you? Here are some ways to figure that out:

  • Distance – Do you want to travel only a short distance? Unlike other medical tourism destinations which may require 15 or more hours of flying, Costa Rica is only a 3 hour flight from the US.
  • Saving Money - Do you want to save 30% to 70% on your medical expenses? Whether you want to get breast implants or a facelift in Costa Rica, you will most likely save quite substantially even after you factor in the cost of travel!
  • Beaches - Do you like clean tropical beaches up against an azure sky? If so, you might want to recover from any medical or dental procedure here.
  • Latin American Culture – Do you like Latin American food? Do you speak a little Spanish? Do you have an interest in knowing why the Spanish phrase “pura vida” best describes the Costa Rican way of life and want to experience the hospitality of Ticos? Even if you have little to no exposure to Latin American culture, you may still find it intriguing and enticing. If you do, then you might want to consider medical tourism in Costa Rica.

Some Handy Tips for Medical Travel in Costa Rica

Now that you’ve realized some of the advantages that Costa Rica has in comparison to other medical tourism destinations, here are some tips for medical tourists going to Costa Rica.

Have open communication with your doctor. One of the best things about Costa Rica is that most of the reputable doctors working with foreign patients speak English. This means that you can have open communication with your doctor. Some more tips on doing that include:

  • Be sure that you fully understand the procedure and the recovery process before you undergo medical treatment of any kind in Costa Rica.
  • Ask questions when you are unclear about something.
  • Express any anxiety or fear you may have about the procedure.
  • Give your doctor all of your emergency contact information in your home country.

Know your own medical history. Whether you are going for knee surgery or full mouth restoration in Costa Rica, it is important that you know as much about your own medical history as possible prior to boarding the flight. You should know and inform your doctor whether or not you:

  • are in a healthy enough state to board a flight
  • have any allergies to medicines
  • have had any severe medical problems
  • are genetically prone to any severe medical problems

Knowing these things prior to going to Costa Rica would be quite helpful. If you can bring any or all of your old medical records, that would also be helpful for your doctor in Costa Rica.

Inform your local doctor. Make sure that you keep your local doctor informed about your decision of traveling to Costa Rica for getting treated. You might need his/her help for follow-up care.

Know about the visa norms. Both US and UK citizens need a passport (with a validity of three months from the date of entry into Costa Rica for American citizens; in case of UK nationals, the passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Costa Rica) but no visa for a stay of less than 90 days in Costa Rica. Extension of stay requires submission of an application to the Costa Rican immigration department. Check for visa requirements with the Costa Rican embassy in your country.

Consult your health insurance company. Often medical facilities do not accept foreign health insurance. Many a time, your insurance may not be valid in a foreign country. So, it is important to consult your insurance provide prior to traveling to Costa Rica.

Follow the safety advisory issued by your government. It is imperative to pay heed to the following safety tips when in Costa Rica –
  • Avoid flashing cash and your valuables in public.
  • Be aware of your surroundings when using public transportation. Theft of bags from overhead compartments is quite common in buses.
  • Do not leave your drinks unattended in a club or bar to avoid them from being spiked.
  • Always hire a registered taxi (these are red in color and can be identified with a triangular sticker on the side).
  • Traffic norms are not as stringently followed in Costa Rica as in the US or the UK. So, self-driving is best avoidable.
  • There are quite a few active volcanoes in Costa Rica. When in a national park, strictly follow the instructions spelt out by the authorities. Do not enter sites which are clearly marked off limits.


Also, it is important to be prepared for a longer or shorter stay than planned. Make sure that you receive all the vaccinations before embarking on a medical trip to Costa Rica. The US Centers for Disease Control, for example, advises travelers to be inoculated against typhoid and hepatitis A and B before leaving for Costa Rica.

These are just a few tips to help you have a great experience as a medical tourist in Costa Rica. In addition to this, you may want to read or hear about the experiences of other medical tourists who have been treated at your intended hospital or clinic in order to get a firsthand account.

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