In the United States, getting a crown or another dental procedure has gotten prohibitively expensive. So, dental tourism is on the rise.
Sure, traveling will cost you some cash, but your dollar stretches a lot further when you head to Costa Rica to get your crowns done.
Plus, you’ll be taking a trip, too—talk about getting major bang for your buck.
Still, before you book that flight, there are a few things you need to know. We at Advance Dental are happy to break things down for you. Below, we’ll explain why you should go on how to prepare for a dental trip to Costa Rica.
1. You’ll Save Big Bucks
For people who have no coverage or inadequate coverage, looking outside the US for care presents a unique opportunity to save money and travel to a different country.
Crowns are one of the more common services to have done abroad.
It’s also worth pointing out that dental crowns in Costa Rica cost significantly less than in the United States.
International patients often request dental crowns from Costa Rica, as they provide a consistent level of quality.
2. Many Services Come with Accommodations
When you travel out of the country for a procedure, often there’s a package deal that comes along with the dental service.
Many overseas providers style these packages as “dental vacations.” This means that you’ll get to take in some of the sights and sounds of Costa Rica while you’re there to take care of your teeth.
Perhaps one of the more important things to consider when considering getting dental crowns in Costa Rica is safety. For this reason, look for a US-certified professional.
One of the biggest myths facing dental tourism is that it isn’t safe. Sure, there are some cases of people having a negative experience when getting their teeth done abroad. However, Costa Rica is a safe country, one that’s popular with tourists and ex-pats.
While you definitely should do some research, getting a crown in Costa Rica is a relatively safe endeavor.
4. Cost Also Depends on Materials
Crowns aren’t a one-size-fits-all affair. Your dentist can install a range of materials—ceramic, steel, porcelain or resin. Here’s a quick look at some of the pros and cons of each:
Porcelain or Ceramic
Most dentists recommend porcelain crowns, as they most closely resemble the texture and appearance of real teeth.
However, they aren’t the best bet for everyone. Porcelain and ceramic crowns are more delicate than other dental materials, and they tend to be more expensive.
Stainless Steel, Gold, Silver
Metal crowns are essentially indestructible. They can last up to 50 years, meaning many people will never need to get them replaced. They tend to be the most viable option for many patients, though some metals may cause wear and tear on the surrounding teeth.
The drawback with metal crowns is, they are very noticeable–contrasting with natural teeth.
Users may prefer to use metal on teeth that are located towards the back of the mouth for this reason.
PFM (porcelain fused metal) brings the best of both worlds to your crown. This option consists of a metal crown, coated in porcelain.
This brings more durability to the table while blending in with surrounding teeth. The outer porcelain-layer may need to be replaced every so often, as this material erodes over time.
Zirconia crowns are the most expensive type of crown, but also the most durable.
Made from blocks of zirconia, these crowns are extremely hard. So, they do pose a risk of wearing down surrounding teeth. But, the advantage over PFM or metal crowns is that the installation process allows the patient to keep more of their original tooth.
5. You’ll Probably Need to Make Two Appointments
If you’ve been to the dentist, you know that getting a crown installed is not a one and done procedure. First, you’ll need to make an appointment so the dentist can assess the damage and get you fitted for a crown.
During the interim, you’ll already be in Costa Rica—think of this as an opportunity to take in the sights.
Hit the beach, explore the jungle—you name it.
At the second appointment, the dentist will install the crown and complete any other services that need to be performed.
6. Schedule Enough Time for the Full Process
Crowns usually take about a week from start to finish. As we’ve mentioned already, you’ll need to make two appointments. We’d recommend scheduling the first appointment at the beginning of the week, and the other at the end.
If you’re planning on getting dental crowns in Costa Rica, we suggest building extra time to your stay. This helps to account for things like root canals or other procedures or any delays during the crown-making process.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you schedule your appointment as far in advance as possible. This ensures your treatment can be completed quickly and within the confines of your stay.
7. Costa Rican Dentists Provide the Same Level of Care You’d Get in the US
Sadly, many people believe US dental work is superior to work done in Costa Rica or elsewhere because it costs more. Costa Rica offers a universal health care system, as well as a top-notch talent pool.
Plus, many Costa Rican dental offices, Advance Dental included, are accredited by North American or European organizations. These organizations have a set of standards for everything from sanitation to the quality of equipment.
8. Planning Isn’t as Hard as it Sounds
If you’re concerned about the logistics of traveling to Costa Rica for dental work, it may be worth it to enlist the help of a dental tourism concierge. They can help you to coordinate flights, appointments, accommodations, and more.
Learn More About Dental Crowns in Costa Rica
Looking for quality dental crowns in Costa Rica?
Our head director, Dr. Eugenio J. Brenes, DDS, is a US-trained dentist and an expert in crowns and bridges. Give us a call today to learn more the procedure, and while you’re at it, booking a stay.