While the practice of masking and social distancing is spotty in many parts of the United States, Costa Rica maintains strict COVID prevention protocols across the nation.
To date, active COVID-19 prevention is prevalent and remarkably successful. As more and more Americans are vaccinated against COVID, international travel will increase. Americans who plan to visit Costa Rica for dental tourism will find the following information useful.
Patients should be prepared for more rigorous COVID prevention measures in Costa Rica than in the USA. Leading dental clinics will take your temperature as you arrive at the front desk, and you will be asked to use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations should be located throughout the clinic. During your visit, the staff will likely ask you to keep your hands clean by washing with soap and water. Members of the dental team will use disposable aprons, face masks, gloves, shoe coverings and full-coverage face shields. Social distancing practices will be enforced.
Costa Rica’s most recognized dental tourism clinic, Goodness Dental, has made significant investments to protect their staff and patients in the age of COVID-19. Innovative new dental equipment reduces the spread of airborne matter, and new air cleaners work to eliminate airborne viruses. The clinic has also implemented new protocols to improve patient safety and to reduce the spread of viral contagion. Routine complete clinic deep-sanitizing processes ensure a safe and healthy clinic environment.
Helpful tips for dental patients and Costa Rica dental clinics
People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help protect themselves and others and stop the pandemic. This incudes the continued use of an approved face mask and appropriate social distancing in social settings.
“This is not the time to relax rules or remove COVID-safety protocols,” says Anthony Manos, Executive Director of the Costa Rica Dental Association. “Dental practices in Costa Rica are encouraged to continue all COVID safety protocols and to insist upon proper social distancing and infection prevention measures.”
The risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission from a vaccinated person to others is still uncertain, but vaccination has been demonstrated to prevent symptomatic COVID-19. Symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in transmission than purely asymptomatic transmission, according to the CDC.
“Despite their high levels of efficient protection, none of the currently available COVID vaccines are 100% effective,” says Manos. “The lack of 100% immunity paired with the uncertainty about transmission makes it essential for dental professionals to wear appropriate personal protective equipment, watch your distance and wash your hands, even when patients aren’t present in the office. Until the global medical community is advised to change protocols, it is recommended that all dental clinic staff continue to follow all COVID health and safety guidelines.”
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated when it has been at least two weeks since they received the second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or one dose of a single-dose vaccine. In its COVID-19 vaccination FAQ and interim clinical considerations for vaccine use, the CDC recommends fully vaccinated individuals continue to:
- Wear a mask over their nose and mouth.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
- Avoid crowds.
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces.
- Wash their hands often.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Follow CDC travel guidance.
- Follow any applicable workplace or school guidance, including guidance related to PPE use or SARS-CoV-2 testing.
“It’s important for everyone to share the responsibility to help stop this pandemic, especially as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions,” says Anthony Manos. “As we continue to increase our resistance to COVID, we hope that things may get back to normal, but now is not the time to relax strict COVID protection measures.”
“Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19,” the CDC states.
Patients seeking safe, affordable dental care in Costa Rica are encouraged to visit Costa Rica Dental Guide to fill out a free estimate form. You will receive a referral to a leading accredited Costa Rica dental clinic that meets international standards for health and safety.
— James Madigan, Costa Rica Dental Guide
This story was sponsored by Costa Rica Dental Guide.