Dental Care

Dental Care
Many tourists come to Costa Rica to have their cosmetic dental work done
inexpensively. The quality of dental work in Costa Rica is equal to that
found in Europe, Canada or the United States. On the average, dental
work costs about 25 to 30 percent less than in the United States. Most
dentists charge about $40 for an initial exam. The approximate costs of the
most common cosmetic procedures are: wisdom tooth surgery $175, single
root canal $150, new crown $250 to $500, implants start at around $750,
fillings about $30 per tooth, and regular tooth extraction $40. If you have
children, orthodontics are very affordable. Check prices with the dentist of
your choice, since rates vary.

Costa Rican dentists offer the following services: implants, gum treatment,
root canals, whitening, oral surgery, crowns, bridges and nitrous oxide sedation.
Orthodontics for children and adults are available and affordable in Costa
Rica. The author’s son had braces. The total cost for a two-year treatment is
about $1,500 which can be paid in monthly installments of $50.

Here is what one expat remarked about dental costs here. “
Braces for my 10-year-old ran about $1,000 .Other dental prices I’ve
encountered to date:Teeth Cleaning – 15,000 colones ($27.27 USD)
performed by the actual dentist not the assistant); White Cavity Fillings
(composite); 13,000 colones ($23.60 USD) each-including painless
local anesthesia where needed; Pre-orthodontics, Complete X-rays,
Pictures and Full Dental Molds , 33,000 colones ($60.00 USD).”

One word of caution for foreigners, some Costa Rican dentists advertise
in English-language publications and cater almost exclusively to foreigners.
Patients will sometimes pay more for the dental services these doctors provide.
It’s a good idea to shop around and ask for recommendations. The Costa Rican
Surgeons and Dentists Association (Tel/Fax: 2256-3100, E-mail: dentista@
racsa.co.cr, www.colegiodentists.co.cr) will give you a list of dentists practicing
in Costa Rica. Check with other residents for recommendations. Above all,
be sure to find out if the dentist you are considering is practicing legally.

You may now combine a dental vacation with one of Christopher
Howard’s Relocation/Retirement Tours. Please see www.
costaricabooks.com/travel for all details or call toll-free 800-365-2342.

Williams Dental
(English speaking)
Tel: (506) 2228-2914
E-mail: info@williamsdental.com
www.williamsdentalcostarica.com
Dr. Simon Mermelstein
(Pediatric dentist)
Tel: (506) 2296-3546/2291-6778

Do Not Hesitate to ask
Who’s Who in Costa Rica

By Dr. John Williams
When trying to find a competent doctor, lawyer, dentist or other
professional in Costa Rica, it’s best to make sure you are in the right
hands. Just because someone knows how to market their services, doesn’t
guarantee quality work or customer satisfaction.

When I started placing dental implants in my patients way back in
1982 my colleagues thought I was crazy! Very little information about
the procedure had been published and dental schools offered no implant
courses. Early ideas were exchanged only in whispers within the dental
underground. By the early 1980s two pioneer implantologists, Dr. Linkow
and Dr. Weiss, had made available insertable blades as a base structure to
support prosthetic work. New companies emerged like Oratronics and
supplied the new industry. Blades quickly became the method of choice.

Dr. Babbush published his first book regarding implants in 1980. The
American Academy of Implant Dentistry and The Alabama Implant
Study group soon became major information sources. Dr. Branemark
then published his studies on osseous integrated implants. This important
system was slow to catch on due to its start-up costs.

My personal break-through came when visiting Dr. Lazzarra in Palm
Beach who took time out of his practice to show this Costa Rican dentist
all about his new system. The lights came on and I immediately adopted
his superior methodology. Today Dr. Lazzarra heads Implant Innovation
Inc.(3i), theworld’s leading implant supplier organization. I subscribe to
3i due to their use of certified high grade titanium and state-of-the-art
precision fittings. Their prescribed dental rehabilitation procedures are
most reliable, fully functional, and esthetically beautiful.

Currently our team offers the implant patient highly qualified
professional services ranging from oral surgery to an American-board
certified periodontist and endodontist. I personally do the treatment
planning, team coordination and the final prosthetic work. Starting very
young, twenty years ago, in the implant field has given me great experience
and sufficient knowledge to treat both the most complicated cases and
the routine with great confidence. Our lab work is all done with certified
high noble alloys and vita porcelain which are worked by an Italian artist
of international repute.

CAD/CAM Dental Technology Comes to Costa Rica

Medical Tourism Patients Benefit from CAD/CAM Technology

In an effort to offer its patients the best and most modern equipment and procedures in the cosmetic and restorative fields, the Colina Dental Clinic in Escazu has now instituted the proven treatment advantages of the CAD/CAM Dentistry technology, (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing in Dentistry).

Colina Dental is one of the first, and very few dental offices, to offer to their patients this new and innovative technology. The Cad-Cam technology consists of an advanced software that allows the dentists to design their restorations by computer, whether they are crowns, veneers, inlays or dental implants preparations.

With the “CAD” portion of the procedure (Computer Aided Design), the dental technician specialized in this training has the capability of doing and undoing different patterns and designs, showing these to the patient for his approval. The CAD approach can also simulate the behavior of the restoration to see if it will ultimately be successful in the mouth.

The “CAM” portion of the procedure (Computer Aided Manufacture), has the extraordinary advantage of reducing the error that may be caused by a human manufacturing, while also reducing the cost of fabrication itself, because of the accuracy and efficiency of the 3D software.

The procedure works like this. After the restoration is designed by the CAD software and approved by the patient, the impression and crown data is transmitted to a milling machine, usually in another laboratory location in the same building.

The CAM precision milling machine then automatically carves a block of ceramic into whichever shape is needed.
Computer Aided Manufacturing machine being loaded with Zirconium dioxide cube

In a matter of minutes, a patient can receive his crowns and veneers – a finished product with no need of more visits to the dentist.

Usually, everything can be done in one day, in one visit. Cad-Cam technology makes an experience at the dentist more pleasant, quicker, and with no need to take gummy impressions, and then returning again for long and repetitive appointments.

The Colina Dental Clinic is a private practice located in the town of Escazú, just 10 minutes away from San José center. It has been open for more than 30 years, providing its patient with outstanding care and treatments. It’s new and enlarged dental center, ultra modern in design and function, is among the most complete dental treatment centers in Costa Rica. They offer 7 different dental specialties, but their strongest aspect is cosmetic dentistry.

Medical tourism is one of the biggest attractions in many countries around the world, and especially, Costa Rica. International patients are being attracted to the different medical and dental options that a country such as Costa Rica has to offer. Not only is the same quality of treatment available here, but also, it is more affordable and accessible. The addition of CAD/CAM dental technology to the Colina Dental Clinic makes it possible for those travelers seeking quality dental care at affordable prices to receive the best modern treatment.
Visit Colina Dental Clinic – Dental Implants Specialists and On Site Dental Laboratory

New – Guided Dental Implant Surgery in Costa Rica

What is Guided Dental Implant Surgery?

Guided dental implant surgery is a computer-guided technology that utilizes digital x-rays enhanced with special software to allow the dental surgeon to see every angle and plan an exact procedure for placing dental implants within the patient’s mouth.

Using the guided implant surgery process, dental surgeons create a precise surgery plan, locating the optimal locations to make incisions and determine the best path to the implant area. Because this process allows surgeons to see the human mouth in real-time 3D, they can avoid “hard-to-detect” problem areas, minimizing patient pain, surgery and recovery time.

“Colina Dental is the first dental clinic in Costa Rica to invest in this cutting-edge dental equipment to give our patients the most efficient, pain-free dental implant services available,” says Dr. Julian Conejo, dental implant specialist with Colina Dental.

“This process minimizes surgery time, dramatically reduces pain, and helps our patients heal faster than ever before. With some patients, we have been able to provide a full set of teeth in one day, which was unheard of before this procedure.”

Risk is present with any kind of surgery. However, new guided dental surgery technologies allow surgeons to plan solutions in advance of possible complications and help remove many of the uncertainties and risks associated with dental implant procedures.

Dr. Luciano Retana, a dental implant specialist with Colina Dental, is confident that guided surgery technology will make dental implant surgeries easier, faster and less painful for patients. “This incredible technology allows us to see in real-time 3D, exactly what is happening inside our patient’s mouths,” says Dr. Retana. “Because we can work more efficiently and with less invasive procedures, many procedures are completed within 3 to 6 hours, which allows our patients to leave our offices, often with a complete, great-looking smile.”

The “All on Four Procedure”

A new procedure also allows Colina dentists to provide a complete set of new teeth using only four implants. This process is known as the “All on Four” procedure. With the “All on Four” procedure, patients receive four implants and a complete set of new teeth that are affixed to the four new implants.

About the Guided Dental Implant Surgery Process

New dental implants require from 3-12 months to “connect” to the bone that supports them, by naturally bonding the implant with the jaw bone structure. Once the implants have healed and are fully connected to the jaw bone, the additional new teeth are adjoined to the implants.

Since drilling into the jaw bone is necessary, Colina Dental’s computer-guided techniques ensure that their dental surgeons can see exactly where they need to place the implant. Implant procedures performed without computer-guided technology have a greater risk of error, which can result in increased surgery time, increased pain and less effective results

A Step by Step Guide to Computer-Guided Dental Implants

1. The Dental Exam

Each patient receives a comprehensive dental exam and an inspection of complete oral health.

2. CT Scan

Once the dental exam is complete, a 3-dimensional x-ray of the entire mouth and jaw is taken to use in planning the implant procedure.

3. Treatment Plan Development

The dental implant surgeon discusses with the patient his particular goals, and prepares a custom treatment plan.

4. Dental Impression & Model Development

To assist us in the surgery and implant process, an impression of the teeth is taken. If the patient has dentures, an impression of his gums is taken to help understand the natural contours of his mouth and gums.

5. Surgical Guide Fabrication

Using the model of your mouth and the CT scan, the computer-based fabrication equipment will create a custom guided dental implant surgery template to map out the exact location of each implant, and to help the dental surgeon place the implants with absolute precision.

6. Guided Dental Implant Surgery Procedure

When the custom mapping and planning are complete, the dental surgeon will place the implants. If possible, temporary teeth are secured to the new implants, allowing the patient to leave the office with a full smile. Permanent teeth will be custom made by Colina Dental’s professional lab technician team, which is on site.

7. Placement of Permanent Teeth

When the time is right, the temporary teeth will be removed, and the new permanent teeth will be secured to the implants.

Because of the precision of guided dental implant surgery, and the reduction of complications, the cost of the dental implant procedure can result in substantial savings for the patient over the conventional implant procedures.

Check out these other sources:
Costa Rica Dental Clinic with Lifetime Guarantee
Dental Guide with Reviews of Dentists in Costa Rica
En Español: Guia Dental Costa Rica

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