Dental Work in Costa Rica. Are the Prices Too Good to Be True?

Dental Work in Costa Rica. Are the Prices Too Good to Be True?

If you have been considering dental care in the USA, you’ve probably been shocked at the high prices. Most Americans simply can’t even consider complex dental work in the USA without breaking the bank. Dental implants often cost $3000-$4500, and a full mouth reconstruction can easily cost $35,000-$60,000 depending on where you live.

So, when you start reading about prices for the same dental work in Costa Rica at prices that are almost 50% to 80% less, it can make you suspicious.

“What’s the catch?” we hear from many patients.

For most dental clinics in Costa Rica, the cost of doing business is simply much less than it is in the USA. When clinics spend considerably less on salaries, insurance and dental supplies, this savings allows them to offer rates that are much less than the same dental care in the USA.

But what should patients do when they encounter rates that seem too low? If you have received quotes from several dental clinics, but one of the quotes seems very low when compared to the others, it should raise some concern. Sure, you’d like to save more money. Who wouldn’t? But if you’re already saving 50% to 70% when compared to US prices, is it worth it to take a risk just to save an additional 5%-15%?

Let’s do the math.

Most dental clinics have the same suppliers and pay the same for their materials.  So, if a dentist is charging you $600 for a dental implant that others are charging $860-$900, you can bet that the low-price dentist is using an inferior quality implant. You probably won’t notice the difference until 1-2 years later, when you see the first signs of trouble. By then it’s too late. You will have to get the problem fixed, which could cost thousands of dollars more in travel, lost time and actual dental expenses.

Did you know that minimum prices for most dental procedures are set by national standards. In fact, it is illegal in Costa Rica for a dentist to charge less than the national guidelines. But some dentists charge less because they know that some patients will take the bait.

Money StackIf you are paying considerably less for your dental care than other patients, you will likely receive lower quality materials, lower quality care or both. We recommend that you think twice before accepting the lowest bid for your dental care. We receive emails from happy, satisfied patients almost every day. We can tell you exactly which clinics take good care of their patients, and which clinics we would avoid at all costs.

Every week or so, we receive emails from patients that made the wrong choice and selected the lowest possible dental quote. We see the pictures and we feel their pain.  Many of these patients could have avoided the problems if they had sought the guidance and direction of one of our dental advisors. But once the damage is done, there is little that we or anyone else can do.

We counsel hundreds of patients every week and help them choose from among the leading dental clinics in Costa Rica. Inevitably, several of these patients will instead choose a questionable provider that promises them the best care at the lowest prices. Even while most of us know and understand that you cannot purchase a Mercedes for the price of a Kia, many patients still opt for the lowest quote, and later come to regret it.

There are over 6000 dentists in Costa Rica. Probably less than 100 of these dentists manage care for international patients like you. How do you choose the right clinic for you? This is a subjective process than involves personality, perception, response times, testimonials, pricing and other variables. Most dental clinics are good. But there are several that are truly excellent.

If you are ready to get your dental care in Costa Rica like tens of thousands of Americans every year, fill out the form on this page, and one of our patient advocates will help you find the best clinic for your needs.  We’ll assess your dental needs, review your x-rays, develop a comprehensive treatment plan and provide you with 2-4 competitive estimates for your care.  In the end, we’ll recommend you to the same clinics that I recommend for my 90 year old father, friends and family. If we don’t use them, we won’t recommend them to you.


Don’t fall prey to less than reputable clinics that lure patients with unreasonably low estimates. Play it safe, and follow the recommendations of our patient advocates that will steer you in the right direction.

Dental care is a big investment in your health and happiness.
Don’t trust your smile to the lowest bidder.

Patrick Goodness, CEO
Costa Rica Dental Guide