Dental Health & Happiness in the Happiest Place on Earth

Dental Health & Happiness in the Happiest Place on Earth

In a recent National Geographic article, Costa Rica was highlighted as the happiest place on earth. Years of studies and surveys arrived at a simple conclusion that people living in Costa Rica have known for years…that the perfect mix of warm weather, free education and healthcare, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, kind-hearted generous people and lots of national celebrations makes Costa Rica a truly happy place to live.

Tourists discovered Costa Rica back in the 1970’s and for the past five decades, have made this tiny nation on the Central American isthmus one of the most popular tourist destinations among Americans and Europeans. Tourists flock to Costa Rica to experience a blend of pristine jungles, rainforests, cloud forests, hundreds of miles of natural coasts and chance encounters with monkeys, sloths, scarlet macaws and toucans.

But unbeknownst to many, Costa Rica has steadily become one of the world’s leading dental destinations. Patients from across the USA and Canada arrive at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaria airport in the capital city of San Jose every week to take advantage of affordable, high quality dental care. Global Clinic Rating is an international accreditation organization that ranks the top dental clinics in the world. The only dental clinic in the Americas to rank in the Top 15 Dental Clinics in the world is found in Costa Rica. (Goodness Dental) No other dental clinic in the USA or Canada made the list.

Dan Buettner, a New York Times best-selling author, has been exploring what makes us healthy and happy for the past 15 years. Buettner discovered that dentist visits, believe it or not, are strongly associated with happiness. Go figure.  In the USA, most Americans simply cannot afford regular visits to the dentist. Americans suffer with higher levels of dental pain than any other nation in the developed world. Major dental work like dental implants or full mouth restorations are out of reach for nearly two thirds of all Americans. For this reason and many others, Americans enjoy a much lower quality of life and experience much lower levels of overall happiness than many people living south of the border.

Meanwhile in Costa Rica, access to affordable dental care means that every Costa Rican citizen can afford a beautiful, healthy smile, allowing them to smile and enjoy life like nowhere else on earth. And every year, tens of thousands of dental tourists arrive to enjoy low priced dental care that meets the highest international standards. Prices for a single dental implant in the USA can be as much as $2000 to $3000. In Costa Rica’s top clinics, the price for a dental implant is $950 or less. Prices for crowns in the USA average $1000-$1500. In Costa Rica, a natural, high-end porcelain or zirconia crown is less than $550. Most patients save so much money, that they have enough for an incredible tropical vacation and still return home with considerable savings.

In Costa Rica, people smile more, and it makes all the difference. It’s been proven that people who smile more are happier and enjoy a higher overall quality of life.  The results of these smile studies reinforce the idea that smiling regularly can reinforce feelings of happiness over time. Could it be that access to high quality, affordable dental care helps people in Costa Rica smile more…leading them to increased happiness? The numbers don’t lie.

Patients considering dental care in Costa Rica are encouraged to work only with accredited, highly ranked clinics that offer English-speaking dentists and guarantees on critical procedures like dental implants. is considered the leading guide for American patients seeking referrals to the top dental clinics in Costa Rica.