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Dental Tourism in Costa Rica

The medical and dental tourism changed in Costa Rica, in the past, wealthy Costa Ricans traveled to the United States to receive superior medical care and procedures. However, recently, the roles have been reversed, patients from Canada and the United States are coming to Costa Rica, not only because of the incredible biodiversity but because of the high-quality medical care at a lower cost and with shorter waiting periods.

Costa Rica has many well-trained doctors in various specialties, many who were trained in institutions in the United States, speak excellent English, and perform procedures in high-quality hospitals and facilities. In fact, a lot of the equipment is imported from the US. as are many of the dental supplies.

These procedures, however, are much less expensive in Costa Rica, even when airfare, hotel, and other travel expenses are included. Canada has been waiting for medical procedures for a long time, and many people are without insurance in the US, making costs much higher.

The change began in the late 1980s when U.S. citizens began traveling primarily for dental work since many procedures are not covered by insurance. In Costa Rica, the vast majority of procedures are done in San José, with the best-equipped hospitals, such as Cima, Católica, and Bíblica, some of which are managed by the US companies.

Almost half of medical tourists come for dental work, with crowns, implants, veneers, and bridges that are a fraction of the cost. Gastric shunts, reconstructive, and plastic surgery such as tummy tucks, breast implants, hip/knee replacements are also performed in Costa Rica.

Dental tourism Costa Rica

Chances are, that if you live in the States and you are reading this, you already know how expensive dental treatments are. You may or may not have insurance, either way, treatments all over the states are just too expensive, and this doesn´t necessarily mean they are top-notch. This is one of the main reasons dental tourism has raised and thrive so much over the past few years.

Some countries over the world have achieved an outstanding level of specialization in complex dental treatments and thanks to several reasons they are able to offer premium dental treatments at affordable prices.

Costa Rica is one of the top countries in the world as a dental tourism destination, known not only for its natural beauties and affordable prices but also for having some of the most talented and well-prepared dentists in Latin America.

Ready? Let´s jump in

In and Out in less than a week.

Thanks to some serious advances in technology nowadays patients can go through complete treatments in less than a week. Surgical guides enable the doctor to operate with millimetric precision and reduce swelling and therefore recovery time to a minimum.

If you add this to the fact that there are more than 15 states on the U.S with direct flights to Costa Rica, you can receive dental treatment and be back home in less than a week.

This is not only great news because we all got things to do in our daily lives and it is tough to set them aside for a couple of weeks to do anything. It is also great because this way you are able to save money on transportation, tickets, accommodation, and food.

Most direct flights from the U.S range from $250 up to $700 depending on the season, and won´t take more than a couple of hours the closest one (probably Miami).

Bilingual country

We are not going to lie, we are a great deal for our patient´s comfort. So everyone in the clinic is fluent in at least two languages. But there are some places around the world were dental tourism has begun to flower were the patient feels comfortable in the clinic because everyone speaks English, but in the dinner, hotel or city in general not so much. Luckily for us and for you, this is not a problem in Costa Rica.

English is a second language in Costa Rica, and most “Ticos” are quite fluent and comfortable speaking it, so whether you are in the clinic or enjoying a getaway to the beach before your treatment you´ll have no problem whatsoever with this matter.


Costa Rica is quite affordable. From the ticket to the accommodations and treatment you may be able to save more up to 30% or even 50% of the cost back in the states. Lots of people love this not only because they are saving money, and that is great! But also because it enables them to plan other things, a quick trip to the beach, some days of traveling and getting to know another country, and still saving money.

It is important to point out that we do not cut back in materials, we use top-notch implants, equipment, and facilities. On the other hand, as we stated before, we are a big deal about our patients and have designed special packages that include everything from airport transportation to accommodations and the treatment. Check out our All On 4 Special Price.

Tropical Paradise

Well, some of our patients take advantage of the trip to visit some of the natural beauties Costa Rica has to offer. And sincerely, we don´t blame them. Costa Rica has both, mountains and beaches a couple of hours away from the capital, San José.

So it is a great plan to seize the opportunity and travel. We recommend you to visit some places, and also have a small list of activities you can do pretty much anywhere in Costa Rica and are quite memorable and fun. If by the end of this article you still have any doubts or concerns we want to hear about them, so please don´t hesitate to contact us. Our expert team is always willing to help you with any hesitations you might have and offer you proper advice.

Advantages of Holistic Dentistry

The Advantage of Holistic Dentistry is the best way of understanding the dentistry from a global perspective through the patients’ teeth and mouth. We work on the oral health of the patient, without leaving the aspects of their general health and psychological aspects aside.

The term holism comes from the Greek “totality”.  It defends that all our systems and their properties must be analyzed as a whole and not only through the parts that compose them.

Even the emotions, the way of being, and the patient’s behavior can have a direct relationship with oral health. Each person is unique, therefore, in America Dental, each treatment is personalized and adapted to every patient, is one of the few dental clinics in Costa Rica which develop holistic dentistry.

We work with the latest technological advances and innovation, but with a more complete vision of the disease and its causes.

There is numerous scientific evidence that demonstrates the there’s a strong relationship between oral and general health. Likewise, the global posture of the human body is related to dental occlusion.

There are some oral diseases that can be the starting point or trigger of disease in another part of the body. There are also many systemic diseases that are expressed in different ways in the oral cavity.

In America Dental, we work integrating all dental specialties (restorative, orthodontics, implantology, periodontics, prosthesis, etc.) that work not only with each other but with other specialties to offer our patients comprehensive care.

We focus on the most biocompatible materials in the market, and we use the latest techniques to help you to improve your health.

If by the end of this article you still have any doubts or concerns we want to hear about them, so please don´t hesitate to contact us. Our expert team is always willing to help you with any hesitations you might have and offer you proper advice.


Get a new smile with the “All on Four” implant technique

There are constant advances in terms of dental implantology, and one of the latest techniques developed is the “All on Four” implants, which is referred to in this article.

What is it?

It is a state-of-the-art implantology technique, and a minimally invasive solution to problems of total absence of teeth: by performing a one-day surgery, all the teeth from the upper and lower arches are replaced with a reduced number of them.

Its name comes from the use of four implants in each maxilla. Although sometimes, and depending on the conditions of each patient, it may be necessary to use more implants (generally six), which is called “All on Six”.

Clinical cases have shown that this technique is an excellent option for patients without teeth (total edentulous).

What’s the success rate?

Considering the scientific evidence and previous cases, this procedures’success has reached 95%. The implants used are the same ones that are placed without using this technique. They are made of titanium, a very resistant and biocompatible material, which is integrated into the bone, bringing positive results, causing no rejection or allergies in most cases. But the difference lies on the inclination of two of the four implants placed in the mouth.

What does the surgery consist on?

The “All on four” requires a dentist and a dental hygienist, which is the usual equipment of dental surgeries. Likewise, anesthesia will be applied with conscious sedation on those patients who require it.

Prior to surgery, the patient will have had all the necessary studies, including radiological studies, in order to know the state of their oral health, and to establish the most appropriate treatment.

Once in surgery, remaining pieces are extracted, if any, and the implants that will hold the prosthesis are placed.

Once the procedure is done, a temporary prosthesis is adapted to achieve a perfect fit: having a new set of teeth in just one day. With this temporary prosthesis, the patient returns home with full sense of functionality in his or her mouth.

Later, once the period in which the implants are integrated into the bone (Osseo integration) is over, the provisional prosthesis is replaced by the definitive one.

What are the advantages of the All on Four technique?

The main advantage is that, with a reduced number of implants, the patient can be offered a fixed prosthesis on the same day of surgery, avoiding bone grafting. It is an immediate implant restoration.


  • It allows rehabilitation of complete arcades.
  • The patient has their teeth fixed immediately.
  •  Because of that immediacy, the cost of treatment is notoriously decreased.
  • There is less bone loss.
  • A greater capacity for access to oral hygiene is achieved.
  • It improves the retention and stability of the prosthesis.
  • It saves treatment time and decreases visits to the dentist.
  • The patient leaves the same day with the feeling of instant improvement of their oral and dental functions (chewing, speaking, etc…).
  • There is an aesthetic recovery, reducing the psychological social pressure.

If, despite this explanation, you still have some questions, feel free to contact us directly or visit our Facebook page.

Dental Implants In Costa Rica: WHY ARE THEY SO CHEAP ?

The industry of Medical Tourism is booming, with it so is the reputation of Costa Rica for being one of the most affordable countries to have surgical procedures in. This destination is a tourist favorite, not just for the significantly lower bills (compared to those in the States), but also for the warm weather, experienced and friendly professionals, and obviously the opportunity to get to know and explore this beautiful country. Dental Implants can be cost as much as 50% less than in the United States, without compromising the quality of the procedure.

Read more

Is the Bone Graft procedure the right procedure for you?

If you’re reading this and researching this topic, it probably is. When you’ve experienced teeth lost due to periodontal or gum disease, injuries, or other infections, this surgical procedure might be ideal for you. ¿Why? Because dental implants look and function the same as a regular tooth, so they end up being an excellent, safe, and long-term solution to your problem.

Learn more about Dental Implants

So, how exactly do we make this happen? Basically, our surgeon will take your own bone, from adjacent non-visible parts of the jaw, or — more common now — use a special bone grafting material, to reconstruct the area that is bone deficient, and graft it onto the jawbone to then place the titanium dental implant.

The procedure takes between 45-90 minutes, and we perform it in our clinic down in San José, Costa Rica. The initial recovery period lasts about two weeks. Following the bone graft procedure, the waiting time until a solid bone mass is received is between 3-6 months (in most cases).

The recovery time also depends on the type of bone substitute used, the complexity of the graft procedure, and the location of the transplant in the mouth.

So yeah, after this process, it takes a while for the graft to create enough new strong bone to make sure that the implant will be stable and secure. While this sounds pretty scary at first, the truth is that bone grafting in the oral cavity today is a simple, routine, predictable and painless procedure.

Reading all of this, you may wonder if a bone graft procedure is a right option for you. It is when you’ve had untreated gum diseases, extraction of a tooth, and various inflammation caused by bone deterioration. In such an event, we would conduct the procedure around them in order to improve their integration.

Since this method involves the surgical reconstruction of the bone and gum, it is done at the same time as fixture installation, as it happens with the All On 4 procedure. So the procedure its perfect to allow the necessary space for our technicians to design the replacement of the lost tissue.

All On 4 Procedure is especially ideal for you when you don’t have enough bone space for implants. Advanced implant dentistry, like ours, knows how to compensate for the loss of bone mass, and to prepare you for permanent dental implants and single, multiple or full teeth replacement procedures.

Learn more about All On 4 Procedure

Now, how can we make this happen? American Dental clinic is located in the distinguished area of Escazú in San José, Costa Rica. We offer the best packages and recommendations for you to have the best possible experience during your stay. While this might sound expensive, actually the total of the procedure and accommodations are considerably lower than what you’d pay just for the surgery in the States.

In fact, Costa Rica’s has become one of the strongest destinations in the industry of Medical Tourism. Medical treatments in Costa Rica are in average 40% to 70% less than in the United States and Canada, add to that the fact that Costa Rica doesn’t ask Americans, Canadians and most Europeans for an entrance visa for stays shorter than 90 days.

This is your opportunity to finally have the smile you know you want and need. Contact us today following the next link 

Discover Costa Rica in your next medical visit

You may have heard the expression Pura Vida, which means ‘Pure Life’. It’s a very often used phrase by people that live in Costa Rica (known as Ticos), and people who have experienced it.

With it, they define not only a hedonistic state of mind but, above all, but the happiness of inhabiting an authentic Garden of Eden. Costa Rica, as a tourist destination, was a pioneer in its commitment to eco-tourism and the exploitation and development of its natural resources in a sustainable way; but also, it’s widely known for their affordable medical practices. That’s why so many people around the world choose to have their surgical procedures and check-ups in this amazing country.
Not only a vast majority of Ticos speak English, but they’re friendly and welcoming to the people that chose to visit their beloved country.
The sagacious traveler, nature lover, and active tourist will fall in love with this country’s remote beaches and mountains, as it happens to be a must-see green country within Central America.

These are six things you can easily do in Costa Rica:

  1. Go horseback riding

Any Tico will tell you that riding is a very common activity in the rural part of Costa Rica. It’s not just a thing for farmers. Who can refuse a beautiful view of the country, sitting on the saddle of a horse? It can be on the beach or the mountains, there is a lot of variety.

It is a fun way to see the landscapes of Costa Rica while enjoying in group, in couple or even alone. You can ride horses in almost all tourist destinations in the country, in particular, Guanacaste where there are a large number of haciendas. Many local farmers rent their horses for field trips.

  1. Experience the adrenaline of riding a zip line

Riding a canopy is one of the favorite activities of tourists in Costa Rica. You really can not say that you’ve been to Costa Rica if you haven’t been through a zip line since we are world famous for our long-lasting cables with spectacular views.

If you are afraid of the heights, do not worry. Not all canopy lines are tall and long. There are short canopy tours that can excite you in the same way.

  1. Immerse yourself in the world of diving

Snorkeling, or scuba diving, is a must activity for ocean lovers, especially if you visit northern Guanacaste or the Caribbean.

If you have always wanted to learn to dive, you can not miss the opportunity to do it here. How many people are able to visit a country with the most beautiful corals in the world, and diverse marine life? You have to take advantage of this.

For those who want to experience the best dive site, there is nothing like Isla del Coco, a World Heritage Site that houses huge populations of hammerhead sharks, yellowfin tuna, dolphins and more.

  1. Play some golf!

Costa Rica has certainly intensified its game of Golf, and because of that, you can find courses recognized at an international level all across the country.

Many of them are in residential or complex areas, but anyone can buy a day pass. Golf lovers can take a look at the residential courses in the Central Valley, or even on the beach, as some hotels offer pretty golf courses with breathtaking views. You may be playing while watching the Pacific Ocean sunset!

  1. Surf!

People from all over the world come to Costa Rica just to surf because the waves here are among the best in Latin America. Some of the best beaches are on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, but this is only a small sample of a large number of great beaches to surf here.

There are plenty of Surf courses and instructors along the beaches in case you wish to develop this new skill.

  1. Explore our beaches

The Costa Rican coastline is filled with beautiful beaches.

You can find beaches of all kinds: white sand, dark sand, turquoise waters, clear waters. On the Caribbean side of the country, you can walk, or even rent a bicycle to travel along the stretch of beach that is Playa Negra, Cocles, Chiquita and Punta Uva, including Cahuita.

The Caribbean is normally not really crowded, so you can easily find a place to rest, and if you explore a little, you may even find a beach just for you.

All Costa Rica’s beaches are public. It is easy to jump from beach to beach since many are next to each other.

  1. Visit our jungles

Most of the jungles of Costa Rica have not yet been explored, but they have discovered impressive small waterfalls, secret lagoons, and waterfalls. This is one of the reasons why you explore the dirt roads that do not seem to lead anywhere. These are the ones that usually lead to the best adventures!

And out of all the things that you can do in Costa Rica, the most important one is to enjoy pure life!


Good health starts from the mouth

92% of adults 20 to 64 have had dental caries in their permanent teeth, a situation caused by poor attention to oral care.

The majority of people give little or no importance to their oral health mainly due to lack of knowledge of the sequelae that causes tooth loss, accompanied by a lack of future projection and its impact on mastication, facial aesthetics, and quality of life.

Mostly, you go to the dentist only if there is pain or when you have to repair or remove a tooth or place some device or prosthesis.

With good review, cleanings and periodic checks, dentists can detect early malignant lesions, including oral cancer. Other oral conditions that affect general health and reduce quality of life are Periodontal Disease (pyorrhea), which occurs in the gums and produces reabsorption and loss of bone of the jaws due to the accumulation of tartar due to lack of cleaning adequate; as well as excoriations and injuries due to poorly adapted prostheses, gastro-oesophageal reflux, oral dryness, bruxism (grinding of teeth), among others.

Recent studies point increasingly to the existence of a relationship between mouth disease, periodontitis and certain systemic diseases, such as strokes, heart attacks, respiratory conditions (pneumonia) or diabetes, which are some of the leading causes of death in men and women.

The mouth is located in the first link of a chain of diseases, which could be avoided with the care of oral health. These diseases could be started when gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque and bacteria. If gingivitis is not treated, it can become a periodontitis, a much more serious gum infection.

Among the related diseases, we can mention:

  • Respiratory Diseases: A study conducted by the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Intensive Care and Sleep Medicine at Erie County Medical Center shows that the same bacteria that are present on the dental plaque would cause respiratory conditions such as pneumonia. At the same time, it is observed that patients who sanitize their mouth daily reduce the incidence of these diseases.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Like periodontitis, they are inflammatory in nature and cause damage and loss of tissue. These similarities led the experts to establish the link between the two. It has been shown that in treating periodontitis an effect could be obtained on the clinical and biochemical markers of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Diabetes: Periodontitis is one of the chronic complications of diabetes. In fact, chronic inflammation of the gums can impact on the control of glucose levels.
  • Heart disease: Theories that relate periodontitis to the heart are different. One of them, for example, argues that bacteria could enter the bloodstream through the mouth and attack the fatty deposits of blood vessels, which increases the risk of heart disease. Another theory points to the inflammation of periodontitis as the main cause of the infarction.

These are just some of the reasons why it is vitally important to pay attention to oral health. Visit your dentist today, especially if you think that with daily hygiene, you can prevent serious diseases.

Receive a free estimate from our expert team

Benefits of using Dental Implant Surgical Guides

For many years, dentists prepared and implemented Dental Implants procedures based on rough X-ray images or cone beam scans, followed by a lengthy planning process that involved a lot of blind spots. Today, 3D printing has eliminated the guesswork in such procedures, giving surgeons dental implant surgical guides to create accurate drill holes and flawless placements.

Computer-guided surgery is being increasingly used in different surgical specialties. This technology has been the object of study in Oral Implantology for more than 15 years.

America Dental has been a pioneer in Costa Rica, because as specialists in the subject, we know that 3-D printing has provided many benefits to dentistry, especially in the area of implant surgery, where growing the use of customized surgical guides eliminates improvised work and helps dentists place a high-grade dental implant with precision and safety.

You see, creating a customized surgical guide for a patient, it is often time-consuming and often out of the reach for most dentists, not for American Dental.

To create a surgical guide, our specialist takes an impression of the teeth, or digitally scan the area. Each produced guide usually takes a couple of days and can cost between $200 and $600, depending on the complexity of the procedure. Besides all of these perks, here are some of the main benefits of this tool:

  1. Improved clinical outcomes

Better results are obtained, because the case is better diagnosed and understood; in addition, because the most efficient use of available bone is achieved -both in its morphology and volume-, being able to place larger implants with better bone conditions.

Thus, by improving accuracy, the best clinical compromise between bone availability and the predicted final prosthesis is achieved, minimizing the risks by eliminating possible manual errors in implant placement. The clinical results are systematically reproducible, with control of the esthetics and function of the implant-supported prosthesis.

  1. It promotes consistent optimal implant placement

When it comes to placing implants, no case should be considered ‘easy enough’. Often when reviewing free-hand cases after the fact, it’s discovered that the drilling angle is slightly different than what it appeared to be during the surgery, or that the trajectory should have been moved over a few millimeters in one direction to provide better spacing between the adjacent teeth.

Using an implant guide system for every surgery makes good business sense, and results in predictable patient care.

  1. Simple and atraumatic surgery

The surgeon’s job is faster, quieter, and more comfortable since he is always guided by the pre-established trajectories in the cylinders of the surgical template. There´s no need to “see to operate”, the specialist just has to secure the stable position of the guide to get to work.

  1. Cost/benefit equation

By comparison, the technique of computerized surgical guides is less expensive and requires less effort to be implemented in practice, than the traditional procedure. It is sufficient to become familiar with the software, whose use is easy and intuitive.

Today, implant placement can be performed accurately and with complete control from preplanning to surgery. A number of computer tools based on the TAC data have proven their reliability widely. The treatment thus becomes highly predictable, optimized, simple, and with less risk. These advantages justify their routine use in a growing number of clinical cases. Schedule your evaluation appointment today with one of our specialists, at American Dental, Costa Rica.

Safe mercury amalgam removal technique: 3 reasons you should consider it

Have you ever heard of the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique (SMART)? Well, if you haven’t you’re going to now. Dental experts fully recommend the extraction of dental amalgams of silver, or mercury, from the teeth of patients. This one of our top holistic dentistry procedure.

Formerly they were placed as a filling to replace a missing tooth or part of it, but it turns out to be a toxic material, and extremely harmful to the health of the patient, besides not being aesthetic if it is in sight. For this reason, in American Dental, dental fillings are made of composite and porcelain, a much more aesthetic and safe material.

As we now know, it is not advisable to have amalgam fillings in the mouth. As a patient, you can be poisoned because of the overexposure to varying amounts of this metal in your diet. Intoxication may also be due to the use of silver dental amalgam with mercury. All forms of intoxication are cumulative and can contribute to the body’s mercury load.

There are three main reasons why you should consider going SMART:

  1. Because it’s safe
    In American Dental we carry out the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique, according to the protocol of action that is internationally known for this procedure; to avoid the inhalation of mercury vapors during its withdrawal, in order to minimize any additional exposure to our patients.To perform a safe extraction of amalgams, the specialist, and his assistant perform all work with the disposable material. The double-mask, the safety goggles and the mask or security screen that can be worn during the operation, are thrown when finished. In addition, the room must have a ventilation pathway to prevent health problems arising from breathing the accumulation of mercury in the air. For his part, the patient will receive nasal goggles to have an alternative oxygen source.As the only Mercury Safe practitioner in Costa Rica, Dr. Vargas -one of America Dental’s specialists-, understands the pains that patients feel when trying to liberate themselves from mercury poisoning and chronic infections. So you don’t have to worry about a thing during the procedure, thanks to his expertise.
  2. Because it’s easy
    In our clinic, we have the required experience to perform this intervention. The patient will lie down in the seat, the safest position.For the extraction of amalgams, a rubber dam will be used to isolate the tooth from the rest of the denture, and two high-speed aspirators will be placed: one to suck the saliva and the other to collect the remains of mercury or silver.The dentist will clean the area while performing the extraction so that the patient does not accidentally swallow or leave any remaining mercury in the mouth.The area where the dental amalgams are removed will be kept cool, and local anesthesia will be applied, except in the palatal and lingual areas, so that the specialist of our dental clinic in Escazú, San José, Costa Rica, can supervise how the patient swallows saliva without a problem.
  3. Because it’s affordable
    The cost to remove an old amalgam filling and replace it can vary because of the extension of the work and the materials that may be necessary. But, you should expect it to fall somewhere between $115 and $250.

Coming to a conclusion about going SMART is something only you can do. So, educate yourself as much as possible, using the input of your physician and well-researched medical sites to help you get there.

When it really comes down to it, the decision as to whether to leave in or switch out amalgam fillings with composite or porcelain is up to your doctor. Your X-rays, the health of your gum tissue, and your teeth and bone structure will inform your dentist as to what’s best for you. After all, your teeth as unique as you are!

To learn more about the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique options and prices, give Dr. Ignacio Vargas a call at our Escazú, San José, area practice, in Costa Rica!

You can write him an e-mail as well: or just contact us through our form.