Are your dental implants FDA approved?

February 5, 2021

Every month, thousands of Americans and Canadians choose Costa Rica for affordable dental care.

Before their visit, most patients review several clinic websites, read a few patient testimonials, maybe even watch a video or two about the clinics, and then choose the best dental clinic in Costa Rica for their needs. Very few patients read the fine print about their dental care, and most make critical decisions about their oral health based mostly on price. Few consider whether or not their dental care or the materials used for their dental care are FDA approved. Would you consider getting a knee or hip implant that wasn’t FDA approved? Of course not. Yet, a majority of dental tourism patients take untold risks by receiving dental care from clinics that do not use FDA approved materials.

What follows is some important information about choosing dental clinics in Costa Rica that use FDA approved dental implants. The Costa Rica Dental Association provides this information to patients free of charge. Patients may also visit the Costa Rica Dental Association website for referrals to leading Costa Rica dental clinics.

Patients that choose cheap, low-quality dental implants in Costa Rica may not be aware that their dental implants are not FDA approved. Most patients incorrectly assume that all dental implants are the same. Like buying a car, dental implants come in different sizes, shapes, surface textures and materials. Some dental implants are made in the USA or Europe, while many clinics with the lowest prices use lower quality dental implants made in Mexico, China, Korea or Vietnam.

The most commonly used Costa Rica dental implants are made of titanium. Some dental clinics use titanium-blend implants, or even zirconia or ceramic implants.  Some implants may include aluminum oxide, zirconia, porcelain, cobalt-chromium–molybdenum or vanadium. Many of these metals have not been approved for use by the FDA but are being used in patient’s mouths in Costa Rica and around the world.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, a section of the Department of the Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all materials used in dental care in the USA. The FDA’s primary responsibility is to ensure that food, drugs and medical devices are safe and effective for the general public. Dental implants fall under the regulatory control of the FDA. The FDA sets comprehensive standards in evaluating medical devices that must be passed before gaining FDA approval and being used in patient care.

FDA approved dental implants have been proven to be a very safe and effective way to replace one tooth or all of a patient’s teeth. FDA approved implants have a 97-98% long-term success rate.

Dental implants to replace a tooth are usually made up of three components.

  1. The implant (the screw that is inserted into your jaw)
  2. The abutment (which screws to the implant)
  3. The crown (the actual tooth that connects to the abutment and the implant)

No matter where you receive your dental work, from time to time, dental implant components may require occasional repairs, adjustments or even replacement. If your dental implants from Costa Rica are not FDA approved, your dentist at home may not be able to be adjust them or may be unwilling to even touch them.

U.S. dentists only use FDA-approved components. Why?

FDA approved implants have been evaluated for material composition, corrosion testing, abutment compatibility and possible health risks. Materials that have not received FDA approval may pose serious health risks to patients. However, some clinics use non-FDA approved materials because they are cheaper and allow them to reduce prices to attract patients.

Some dental clinics in Costa Rica claim to use FDA-approved materials, but very few are fully FDA compliant. Today, more than ever, it is important to choose clinics that use the highest quality FDA and ADA-approved materials. These clinics are often accredited and certified by leading organizations and are recognized for their excellence in patient satisfaction. Patients can request referrals to these leading clinics on websites such as CostaRicaDentalGuide.com and CostaRicaDentalAssociation.org.

In a recent phone interview with Scott Thompson, a leading dental implant representative from Denver, Colorado, Mr. Thompson expressed concern about the high number of non-FDA approved implants that international dental practices are using. His concern is that most of these implants are of such poor quality that American dental practices will not work on them. Mr. Thompson shared that “due to the lack of availability of components to repair or replace these implants, the implants must be removed and the patient has to start over, receiving new FDA approved implants, doubling the expense and complicating the healing process.”

FDA approval requires scrutiny of materials, patient outcomes, margin for patient safety and a tremendous investment to secure FDA approval.  Even dental implants from European countries that have a Common European (CE) approval, cannot be distributed in the US without FDA approval.

Goodness Dental, located in Escazú Costa Rica, rated as the best dental clinic in Costa Rica by CostaRicaDentalGuide.com and one of the top five best dental clinics in the world by Global Clinic Rating, uses FDA approved dental implants and components and offers a lifetime guarantee on all titanium dental implants. Dr. Clyde Waggoner, Director of Patient Services for Goodness Dental, is a maxillofacial surgeon with more than 30 years of private practice experience in the USA. Patients can speak directly with Dr. Clyde at 866-290-6341 to plan their dental implants procedure. Goodness Dental also has an on-site dental lab to ensure quality restorations. This clinic also offers luxury guesthouse accommodations at Goodness House.

Getaway Dental, also located in Escazú, is rated the “Best Value” dental clinic in Costa Rica and offers FDA approved dental implants and abutments. Getaway Dental also offers free airfare up to $500 for qualifying patients.

All on Four Costa Rica, located in San José, Costa Rica, is one of Costa Rica’s leading All on 4 dental implant clinics. All on Four also uses FDA approved dental implants and has an in-house dental lab to provide high-quality fixed bridges. One of the primary benefits of All on Four Costa Rica is their fixed pricing regardless of how many dental implants you need. For one fixed rate, patients receive as many implants as needed for the same price. Patients that need five or six dental implants receive the same excellent rate as patients receiving four dental implants. This clinic offers excellent value for All on 5, All on 6 and All on 8 patients.

While many low-priced dental implant clinics use general dentists to place implants, Goodness Dental, Getaway Dental and All on Four Costa Rica use top implant specialists including maxillofacial surgeons and periodontists to place dental implants, ensuring the highest quality and lasting results. This is a critical difference that many patients overlook to their detriment. There is no substitute for specialist care.

If you are considering dental implants in Costa Rica, you will be in good hands if you choose a clinic that offers FDA approved dental implants placed by qualified maxillofacial surgeons or periodontists. Do your research and always seek the best quality clinic that offers credible written guarantees to ensure your safety and long-lasting results.

Anthony Manos
Executive Director
Costa Rica Dental Association
patients@costaricadentalassociation.org

 

Costa Rica Dental Association

The Costa Rica Dental Association is an English language patient advocacy organization founded to help Costa Rica dental tourism patients receive safe, affordable dental care in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Dental Association helps patients:

  • Find accredited dental clinics & specialists in Costa Rica.
  • Research Costa Rica dental prices on procedures like All on 4, dental implants and crowns
  • Get connected to accredited dental clinics & ensure a quality treatment approach.

The Costa Rica Dental Association includes a team of English-speaking dental professionals who understand the needs of American and Canadian dental tourists seeking affordable, safe, high quality dental care in Costa Rica.

We’ve helped tens of thousands of patients find the right dental clinic or dentist by taking the time to understand your needs and making referrals to the leading, most trusted dental clinics in Costa Rica. You don’t have to do this alone. We’re here to help.

The Costa Rica Dental Association Ombudsman Service helps patients resolve disputes with member organizations and specialists. Ensure your safety by choosing dental clinics recommended by the CRDA.

This story was sponsored by Costa Rica Dental Association

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