Is Costa Rica a safe destination for dental tourism?
The short answer is yes — an unequivocal yes. But what is the evidence to prove that Costa Rica is a truly safe destination for dental tourism?
Many geographically challenged United States citizens confuse Costa Rica with Puerto Rico. In fact, for the first two years after we moved here, my father-in-law would call me every time a tropical storm passed by the island shores of Puerto Rico. It took two years for him to realize that Costa Rica and Puerto Rico are two very different places.
Many other U.S. citizens lump Costa Rica in with other Central American nations, which causes them concern. Americans who associate Latin America with drugs and violence are likely to be fearful of visiting Latin American countries. Costa Rica gets a bad reputation because of some of its neighbors. It’s like choosing not to visit Chicago, because you hear bad things about New York. Fear often causes us to make poor decisions.
But where does this fear come from? From the news, mainly. When U.S. news reports about Latin America, it’s often something negative. These negative news stories color our opinions and feed our fears, even when these fears are unfounded.
Costa Rica is a very safe country with a 99.8% literacy rate (higher than the United States), socialized healthcare and low crime rates. It’s often called the Switzerland of Central America because of its low crime and because it abolished its military in 1948. Millions of tourists visit Costa Rica every year and have an amazing vacation without any incident.
The nature of many news media vehicles is to sensationalize and create interest. No one wants to read a story about ordinary families going to work or school or enjoying a lazy day at the beach. It’s not interesting to report that millions of U.S. citizens visited Costa Rica and had an incredible, safe vacation by visiting the beaches, hiking through lush rainforest or coming face-to-face with howler monkeys. The simple truth is that Costa Rica is one of the top vacation destinations for exactly those reasons.
Moreover, there are many countries in Latin America, and each one is different. Just because there’s a protest in Colombia doesn’t mean that it affects Costa Rica, a country about 750 miles away, any more than a robbery in Miami would stop you from going out to dinner in St. Louis. Sadly, when crime happens in Mexico or Honduras, many assume that all of Central America is unsafe. It simply isn’t true.
I’ve lived in Costa Rica with my family for many years, and we love it here. We enjoy near perfect weather year-round and go to the beach, mountains or hot springs on the weekends. Our life sounds like a fairytale for most, but to us, we often forget how lucky we are to live in the incredible paradise.
Patients that choose Costa Rica for dental care have the added benefit of savings bundles of money on their dental care. Dental implants that often cost more than $3,000 each in the United States are priced from $800-$1,000 in Costa Rica.
Dental crowns that cost $1,500 or more in the United States often cost around $500 in Costa Rica. An All on 4 dental implants procedure may cost as much as $50,000 to $60,000 at Clear Choice in the U.S. In Costa Rica, patients often spend less than $25,000 for the same procedure.
Most dentists involved in dental tourism speak fluent English, and many have credentials that would impress most U.S.-based dentists. In short, the quality of care is world-class, and the pricing is affordable. Many patients who cannot afford dental care at home are choosing Costa Rica as their dental destination of choice.
Most dental tourism patients will choose a clinic in or near the capital city of San José, the most popular business and residential area of the country. Safety for visitors and citizens alike is an important government mandate. Costa Rica has favorable crime rates and can be a safer vacation destination than the U.S.
Tourists continue to flock to Costa Rica for incredible vacation experiences. Consider that Costa Rica is a country with 4.8 million people that receives 2.6 million foreign tourists per year. Every year, tourists from all over the world come to Costa Rica, some of them for the second or third or fourth time to enjoy its natural beauty, excellent food, or to get high-quality and affordable dental or medical services.
Some U.S. citizens have decided to retire and enjoy the rest of their lives in Costa Rica just because they came for dental care. We receive reviews from hundreds of patients every month, telling us about their incredible dental care experiences in Costa Rica. While there are always a few that report some problems, most patients are fully satisfied with their care and ecstatic to have saved thousands of dollars on their dental care. Many return year after year to the same clinics in Costa Rica for ongoing dental care and maintenance because they grow to trust and value their Costa Rica dentist.
If you need dental implants, dental crowns, a full mouth restoration or an All on 4 dental implant procedure, check out the best dentists in Costa Rica. It’s not only one of the most beautiful places on Earth, it’s one of the safest. You can find more information on the best dental clinics in Costa Rica at CostaRicaDentalGuide.com.
James Madigan is the CEO of CostaRicaDentalGuide.com. Originally from Ireland, James came to Costa Rica in the 1990’s and fell in love with the country and her people. He has written extensively on the topic of dental tourism in Costa Rica and is committed to helping international patients find affordable, high quality dental care in Costa Rica.
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