Choosing a Costa Rica dental clinic may seem like the right move, but how do you pick the right one and are the cost benefits worth the travel time?
With the increasing popularity of dental tourism to Costa Rica, it’s more important than ever to take the time to do your homework before choosing a dental clinic for your own needs. Just as you’d check out a new dentist in the States, it’s a good idea to investigate potential providers.
Unless you know someone who’s already traveled to Costa Rica for dental work, chances are that you’ll begin your search online. Beyond ensuring that your new dentist speaks and understands English, here’s what to look for.
Dentists in Costa Rica study 5 to 6 years, 1-2 years longer than in the States and that training emphasizes more clinical experience than schools in the U.S. and Canada. Specialist training requires another 2 years. In some cases, as was the case with Dr. Mario Garita, Costa Rican dentists go to the States for their specialized training. Of course, this only happens when finances, educational prerequisites, and proficiency in English permit.
The demand for dental services in Costa Rica means dental surgeons in the busiest clinics might perform as many as 200 implants a month, compared to about 30 a month in the U.S.A. That translates to a wealth of experience in techniques, research, and protocols—which adds up to your benefit.
Every dentist in Costa Rica must register with the National College of Dental Surgeons (Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas). A visit to colegiodentistas.org will show the registration status of any dentist in Costa Rica.
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You should also ask about the materials used in your planned procedure. This is a critical consideration, and a reputable clinic will be happy to tell you about their materials and methods. Another way to evaluate is to compare pricing, and the brands of materials use. You should ask what the advantages are in using one material over another. Some (but not all, so do your research!) Costa Rican dental clinics, such as Mario Garita Dental Experience MP, use the same cutting-edge technology that is used in developed countries such as the United States and Canada.
Unbelievable as it may seem, many Costa Rican dentists warrant their work. Be sure to ask for the details of the warranty, particularly if you’re considering implants.
Finally, it’s important to take a look at the cost-benefit of traveling to Costa Rica for your dental work. One additional benefit of travelling to receive medical care, for example, is that a patient has the ability to experience new areas and cultures while they recover. Another benefit is affordability. Unless you have phenomenal insurance with dental coverage, chances are pretty good that the work you do on your smile will be an out of pocket expense. Unfortunately, that can quickly become prohibitive in North America. Travelling to Costa Rica for your dental care can actually mean the difference between fixing your teeth or doing nothing at all. The good news is, when you do travel to Costa Rica for your dental care, you get so much more than just a healthier mouth; you get a vacation too.
There are many considerations in choosing a dental clinic in Costa Rican beyond a fancy website and 5 stars in an online rating. Don’t hesitate to reach out to ask questions, and to compare prices; your dental health depends on it.