Dental Care is Affordable in Costa Rica. Why is Dental Care so Expensive in the United States?

Barbara Goldman,
Accreditation Specialist
Paid Partnership

Americans often look to Costa Rica for affordable dental care because the cost of most dental procedures are unreasonably expensive in the United States. Why? Here are just a few of the reasons:

1. Dental insurance doesn’t work at all like medical insurance. Medical insurance is actual insurance where the insurance company pays when you have a health issue (and you know it’s more expensive than that. Dental insurance works like a maintenance plan that covers cleanings and x-rays and maybe some discounts on crowns. Think of it more like a coupon booklet. Maximum annual benefits are typically around $1,500 at best. That amount barely covers the expense of a crown, much less a dental implant. If you need extensive dental work, it will come from your own pocket. This is why many patients choose Costa Rica for affordable, low-cost dental care.

2. Dental training is extremely expensive in the USA. Dentists spend many long years to earn their degrees, and even longer if they become a specialist. Regular university is expensive as it is, and doctors and dentists have to pay even more for their education, for which they often go into debt. Since their services are always needed, they can mark up their prices in order to get out of debt sooner. In Costa Rica, education is free, and most dental and medical specialists spend very little to earn their degrees. This is why dental care is so affordable in Costa Rica.

3. Overhead costs for most American dentists are prohibitive. Up to 80% of all revenues they ear can go to the expenses of running the clinic. Dentists have to pay rent or mortgages, and the salaries of hygienists, office managers, receptionists, assistants, as well as their own health insurance and malpractice insurance, supplies, equipment, maintenance and repairs, student loans, and of course, taxes. All of which can increase the price while maintaining their own margins. In Costa Rica, these costs are often a fraction of the costs paid in the USA, allowing Costa Rica dental clinics to charge much less for the same dental services.

4. Laboratories. Crowns and frames and dental implants are not manufactured at the dentist’s clinic, but in a lab, and they have to be paid separately. Dentists typically prefer to work with good laboratories since they have no desire to have to work a second time on a failed piece. They may not be charged for failed lab work, but failures still generate costs and lost time, in addition to frustrated customers and potential loss of their reputation. Dental labs in Costa Rica are very high quality and cost much less than comparable dental labs in the USA. This savings allows Costa Rica dental clinics to offer much lower prices to their patients.

Is it any surprise that Americans are going to Costa Rica instead, where they can get high quality dental care, performed by specialists for a fraction of the price? To learn more about dental care in Costa Rica, or to get connected with a leading dental clinic through a free referral service, please visit Costa Rica Dental Guide.

When choosing a dental clinic in Costa Rica,
trust your instincts

By Patrick Goodness,
CEO: Goodness Dental
Paid Partnership

Your instincts are neither the most important nor the only factor that you should take into account when choosing a dental clinic, especially if you’re looking for a dental clinic in another country. Many people substitute good research with a “gut feeling” and may make the wrong decision. Proven quality should always be the primary reason for choosing a dentist, anywhere.

But aside from reputation, cost, and travel considerations, which the dental clinic can inform you about, you have to take your own level of comfort into account. After all, you’re putting your wellbeing in someone else’s hands and it’s important that you trust that person. Instinct is a hard quality to define, and the simplest way to characterize it is that “it feels right or it doesn’t.” And what feels right varies greatly from person to person.

For example, when you call a clinic, sometimes there’s something in the voice of the person that replies that makes you feel at ease and safe. It could be something as subjective as their tone of voice in addition to the knowledge they communicate, or the questions they ask.

Or maybe it’s just the opposite: that speaking with a potential dentist makes you feel uncomfortable. It’s hard to explain why, other than you just feel it.

Same thing when you write to a dental clinic. Sometimes the reply you get just doesn’t feel welcoming, and sometimes it feels like they really care about you. When considering which clinic is the right fit for your needs, sometimes it’s good to trust your instincts.

It’s also a good idea to take a look at the photos of the clinic’s team, as a human face is always better than text. Obviously, those clinics that don’t display photos of their team aren’t necessarily bad, but they find themselves at a disadvantage when trying to appeal to potential patients. There have been cases of patients that request a specific dentist after seeing his or her photo on a website, although these are rare.

Remember, your instinct shouldn’t be the only factor you consider, or even the first to take into account. You still have to do your homework, no matter how good a dental clinic is. Take a look at accreditations, certifications and reviews to ensure that the clinic you are choosing meets international standards. Call or write to the clinic to discuss your care with someone at the clinic. If they are too busy to take your call, they are too busy to manage your care. Get a quote and an approximate schedule for your care. Ask as many questions as you need and feel comfortable with the answers. Read online patient reviews. The clinics with the highest number of five-star reviews are the most trustworthy. They have proven their value and earned a high level of patient trust. These things matter. Discuss the options with your family and make sure that you feel good about your decision. After conducting your due diligence, ask yourself how you feel about a specific clinic or dentist?

If you’re seeking a proven, trustworthy dental brand in Costa Rica, we hope that you’ll give Goodness Dental a call. Call toll free at 866-406-2744 or visit us online at Goodness Dental.

How to Prepare for Dental Implants in Costa Rica?

By James Madigan, CEO
Paid Partnership

So, you’ve made up your mind and decided to get dental implants in Costa Rica. As you already know, Costa Rica is one of the leading destinations for affordable dental implants. Most patients save thousands of dollars, while receiving a very personalized approach to dental care. However, before you start to pack your bags, there are a few things you need to do to prepare.

First of all, you need a passport that’s valid for at least 90 days after your planned entry date to Costa Rica. In addition, you need a return plane ticket home to prove that you’re not intending to stay in Costa Rica permanently. Since most dental tourists get two-way tickets, this is sufficient proof.

Your Costa Rican dentist might ask you to take a test or two, depending on your unique case. These tests usually involve X-rays only, but some patients with specific health issues might need other tests, like blood tests or coagulation time tests. Obviously, this will depend greatly on each individual patient, although if you are in good general health, you’ll probably not need additional medical tests.

Smoking & Drinking:
In some cases, you might need to make some temporary or permanent adjustments to your lifestyle. The two most common changes asked by dentists are to stop smoking and to stop drinking. Smoking is known to affect the performance of dental implants and is responsible for the yellowing of both natural and prosthetic teeth. It’s yet one more reason for quitting smoking permanently, but if not, you should at least refrain from smoking before and for a few months after your procedure. Alcohol will need to be suspended temporarily, as it can affect the performance of antibiotics and pain-killers and you really want those to be 100% effective.

Let your dentist know about any medication you take. Occasionally you may need to change a medicine you are taking or stop taking it temporarily. Also, find out if you’ll need to buy medication once you return to the United States. You might not be able to take medication (typically pain medication) you need back home with you due to US laws, so you want to make sure you have a pharmacy that sells your medicines back home. Fortunately, the medication is pretty standard and you won’t have trouble getting it. Still, find out where now rather than having to find it once the effects of your first medication start to fade.

There might be other preparations required that are unique to you, but you can discuss this with your dentist when you speak before booking your flights. However, the basic ones outlined in this article are all most people need. Still, it is important that you make sure all your questions are answered beforehand. So, keep a list of questions to ask and schedule a time to get them answered and when you speak, keep a pen and paper handy to take notes.

The team at Costa Rica Dental Guide has developed a list of important considerations to help you prepare for your dental vacation in Costa Rica. Please visit this link How to Plan for Your Dental Care in Costa Rica to learn more.

If you’re seeking a proven, trustworthy dental brand in Costa Rica, we hope that you’ll give Goodness Dental a call. Call toll free at 866-406-2744 or visit us online at Goodness Dental.

Why accreditation and professional recognition
are important when choosing a dental clinic
in Costa Rica?

Barbara Goldman,
Accreditation Specialist
Paid Partnership

When you go to a dentist in your hometown, you typically don’t look for the dentist’s certification. Instead, you ask for recommendations from people you know. However, when you need a dental service in a different city, you can’t always get personal recommendations, so perhaps you read reviews online. But what if you are considering a dental clinic in another country?

Of course, you still might read online reviews for a clinic in another country. However, you may question their authenticity. Are these reviews real? How do I know if they’re honest or just written to inflate the reputation of the clinic? Some people wonder the same thing even when they read reviews from American clinics, so it’s understandable that dental clinics abroad receive a greater degree of scrutiny.

This is why accreditation, certifications, professional memberships, peer recognition, and awards are important.

These types of professional acknowledgments from reputable third parties make a difference.

They certify that a specific dental clinic complies with standard practices and has a certain degree of quality.

Obviously, the exact certification also matters, but a dental clinic that is accredited will make sure it’s visible on its website since third party organizations closely monitor that their certifications are well used. Some dental clinics have worked very hard and invested greatly in meeting the standards required by accrediting and certifying organizations.

However, if you want to make sure that a dental clinic in another country is up to the standards of American clinics, look for an American or international certification. Note that some American dental associations will certify individuals, not clinics, so those certifications will probably be displayed on the “staff” or “our team” pages of a clinic’s website.

In Costa Rica, it is recommended that you look for the following certifications or memberships: Costa Rica Dental Guide, American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, Global Clinic Rating and depending on your procedure, the American Association of Implant Dentistry or the American Prosthodontic Society.

Awards are important too. If they are recent within a couple of years, they allow you to know if a dental clinic has been keeping up with current practices and is up to the latest standards. Costa Rica Dental Guide ranks the best dental clinics in Costa Rica and outlines why some clinics area better than others.

Lastly, look for certifications from the national agencies or medical boards from the country where the clinic your considering is located. These are important, too. Remember that most dental clinics in other countries don’t depend solely on foreign dental tourists, but also on local patients and they need to comply with their country’s rules. understands the needs of dental tourists and has assessed and qualified the best dental clinics in Costa Rica for our patients. Visit the website and fill out a form to receive a recommendation for the leading dental clinics in Costa Rica. You may also visit Global Clinic Rating, an international medical and dental accreditation website, to see the top-ranked dental clinics in Costa Rica. Contact us directly at Costa Rica Dental Guide with any questions you may have: