This article on dental tourism comes on the heels of two trips to Liberia, Costa Rica by my wife and I, for the purposes of getting extensive dental work done.
Between the two of us we had the following work done by a Dr. Parra in Costa Rica: 7 crowns, 2 veneers, 1 root canal, and more than 15 porcelain fillings, several to replace the original, amalgam fillings. Additionally, we had ZOOM whitening done which made a vast improvement.
We are both extremely satisfied with the quality of work and the work ethic at Enrique Parra Dental Care and highly recommend these aesthetic dental services.
The predominant English language newspaper in Costa Rica, The Tico Times, recently reported that overall tourism in Costa Rica is in a downturn because of the global economic crisis, but other niche tourism markets, such as medical and dental providers, are holding their own and even increasing.
What has become known as 'dental tourism' in the country, is bringing tourists to Costa Rica in droves, despite the current recession. Given that prices are so much lower than other countries, tourists can subsidize their vacation costs, by incorporating dental treatments and pocketing the extra cash and using it for hotel and flight expenses.
For example, a typical root canal treatment in Canada costs anywhere from $750. and upwards depending on what area of the country you live in. The same treatment can be had for about $250 American in Costa Rica. Getting a crown for a tooth in Canada is an expensive proposition, and adding the lab fee and a couple of visits, you are easily in the $1,000. ballpark. Same crown in Costa Rica costs about $350- about one-third of the cost!
Even a simple filling in North America can cost between $100. and $150 but in Costa Rica, the normal range is about $40 to $70.
Costa Rica has many fine, fully qualified dentists some of whom are expatriots, and have established practices mainly in the capital city, San Jose, and Liberia, a northern hub and close to an international airport. Many of Costa Rica's dentists have affiliations with American universities, and their services are recognized worldwide.
Dr. Enrique Parra, a cosmetic dentist in Liberia, Costa Rica was born in Spain, and became a master dental technician in Germany, and then later became a qualified dentist in that country.
Dr. Parra moved to Costa Rica, and now has a busy practice in Liberia, Gunacaste. He provides the full range of essential and aethestic dental services, including veneers, root canals, crowns and implants. Increasingly, his practice is attracting a lot of patients from Canada, the United States and Europe.
Enrique Parra Dental Care has a dental lab on its premises, so you can be sure that prosthetics like crowns and veneers are prepared under Dr. Parra's supervision, which means that the lab work is done to perfection, and is cheaper for the patient because no external lab is involved.
Furthermore, Dr. Parra is willing to accomodate the needs of tourists, and compress their appointments into the time that they have available. Changes in scheduling can be made according to the diagnosis at the time. Also, Dr. Parra suggests that his patients take advantage of the Internet to send emails containing images of x-rays, CT scans and photographs of the teeth as required.
The small city of Liberia is home to the Daniel Oduber International Airport, and now has direct flights from cities such as Houston, Miami, Atlanta and Toronto. The Liberia city centre is only minutes from the airport, and where there is little traffic and a full complement of tourist services. The Hilton Hotel recently opened an airport hotel, and there are more businesses being planned for the airport community.
Another benefit to landing in Liberia is that within one half an hour's drive, you can be swimming in the Pacific coast beaches in the sunshine, with ample accommodations available. Those beach communities include: Panama, Hermosa, Playas del Coco and Ocotal, and slightly further off the beaten path, beaches like Tamarindo and Samara.
So, if you are in the market for some dental treatments which could subsidize your holiday in the sun, think about coming to Costa Rica and going back home with a big smile on your face, perhaps the best souvenir of the country that you could ever have.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script'); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);