Questions About Dental Implants in Costa Rica
Costa Rica News – With the cost of dentistry seemingly going up each and every year more and more people are resorting to dental tourism and heading south to get their dental work done by a Costa Rica dentist. When you can get a flight to Costa Rica for about $600 to $700 when it is not peak travel season and you are saving $5000 to $8000 on dentistry while on a dental vacation, the math adds up pretty quickly.
- What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a prosthetic replacement for a missing tooth. Teeth consist of the part that is showing which is the crown and the part below the surface which is called the root. The root is the part that is effectively replaced by the implant and is usually made out of titanium. The dental implant is placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth (crown) which is put in place of the broken or missing tooth.
- What are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Implants are very strong, reliable, and can look just like your own teeth. They are also much more natural looking than dentures. Dental Implants do not require the support of adjoining teeth like dentures either. If you have trouble chewing dental implants can be a solution to this problem.
- What do Dental Implants Cost in Costa Rica?
In the United States, dental implants cost between $3000-$6000 for the implant, surgery, and crown. If bone grafting, a sinus lift, or anesthesia is required it can cost thousands of dollars more. Also if you add in the passing of Obamacare these prices are going to go up even more. In Costa Rica the price of the dental implant you can plan on paying about $500 to $1000/per implant. For just one tooth it can end up being less expensive to take a flight to Costa Rica and get this done.
- Why are Dental Implants in Costa Rica so Cheap?
The biggest reason for this is the overhead that is required to run a dental clinic in the United States. A dentist on average makes $198,000 a year and works about 4 days a week. Costa Rica dentists make a fraction of that salary. Also factor in that insurance, building rent, and that staff are less expensive this adds up to the fact they are able to charge less for the same services. Dentists in Costa Rica use the same materials for crowns and the same brands of implants so there is no difference in cost of materials.
- How Many Trips to Costa Rica Will I Need to Make?
Generally the procedure of dental implants is 2 steps that are 6 months apart. So a short answer to this question is 2 trips. However, it is made up of generally 4 appointments. The first trip is the first 2 appointments.
- Appointment 1 – The dentist will perform an initial examination and explain your options for treatment. The dentist will take panoramic X-Rays of your mouth and sometimes perform a 3D CT scan to determine exact placement of the implant and the amount of available bone.
- Appointment 2 – This is when the actual surgery is performed and the implant is surgically placed. Several days after the surgery, you will need to return for a follow up to see how you are healing and to provide you with a temporary tooth. Typically, the dental clinics in Costa Rica should be able to complete this treatment process in 5-7 days.
- Appointment 3 – After the surgery the implant will need to integrate with the bone of the jaw which takes about 6 months. At appointment 3 the implant will be fitted with a small metal post, called an abutment, and the crown will be placed onto it.
- Appointment 4 – The final step which is see how the crown fits and how the site is healing. Any final adjustments are made and you are done.
- Are “Immediate Loading” or Same Day Dental Implants Performed in Costa Rica?
“Immediate Loading” or Same Day Dental Implants are performed in Costa Rica and some of the dental clinics. This is when the implant and the crown are placed in just one visit and no second visit is required. It is considered quite controversial and make sure you ask what the success rate is as these types of dental implants are prone to failure.
- Is the Dental Procedure Painful?
In general there is some general soreness associated with the procedure, especially in the jaw, but in most cases this can be taken care of by over the counter pain medicine. If you are nervous and want to be put under during the procedure, make sure you ask your Costa Rica dentist if this is an option.
- What is a Bone Graft and Is it Required for Dental Implants?
A Bone Graft is a procedure in which bone is surgically placed at the site of the implant in order to increase the bone density. The reason this is necessary is if the jaw does not have enough bone to support the implant. This can only be determined after the initial appointment with the Costa Rican dentist. This is why the dentist cannot guarantee what will need to be done before the initial assessment.
- How Long Will My Dental Implants Last?
If your procedure is done properly and you maintain the implants correctly they will last up to 25 years.
Will I Be Able to Enjoy a Vacation When I Go for my Dental Procedures?
Yes of course. As it was mentioned before you may have some general soreness but that will not keep you from relaxing on the beaches of Costa Rica or visiting one of the many Costa Rican volcanoes. That is why it is called dental tourism.
The only question is really do you have a reason not to get you dental procedures done in Costa Rica?
There are only 1 or 2 clinics that The Costa Rican Times recommends due to personal experiences there. One is Costa Rica Dental Team which is the only American run clinic in Costa Rica with the highest standards in service and modern facilities. Saving $2500 or more on dental procedures like dental implants with a short flight to paradise is becoming more and more popular.
For a Free Quote on Dental Care from the Costa Rica Dental Team, click here.