Using Dental Insurance in Costa Rica

Using Dental Insurance in Costa Rica

We hear complaints daily that dental care in the USA is unaffordable, with prices so high that most average Americans cannot afford even basic dental care. But if you have dental insurance, care is affordable in the USA right? Nope. Even with insurance, most Americans cannot afford major dental care like dental implants or an all on 4. The average insurance plan typically covers only about $2,000 worth of dental procedures per year, and the cost for a single dental implant is generally $4000 or more not including the crown.

Typical Dental Insurance Costs

Full dentures, for instance, usually cost around $5,000 in the USA. In Costa Rica the price for dentures is $900-$1500. Complex full mouth restoration treatments like the All-on-4 implant system average around $56,000 in the USA,  while the cost in Costa Rica averages around $24,000 for both arches.  That’s the main reason All-on-4 solutions are still relatively rare in the United States.  Even with airfare and hotel expenses, most patients report savings of $25,000-$40,000 or more. One of the leading all on 4 dental clinics in Costa Rica is Goodness Dental.  “Almost every week we have two or three patients receiving the all on four treatment at our clinic,” says Dr. Peter Aborn, Clinic Supervisor and Patient Coordinator with Goodness Dental. “These patients simply cannot afford this level of quality care at home, so they come to us.”

Let’s consider another example:  The average cost of 5 porcelain crowns in the USA or Canada is $7000. If you have insurance, you will be expected to pay $5000 out of pocket. The average cost of five crowns in Costa Rica is $2,750.  You would pay only $750 out of pocket.  With the money you save, you can enjoy a wonderful vacation in beautiful tropical Costa Rica. Tens of thousands of patients are doing this every year in Costa Rica.

Waiting for dental treatment until you can afford it can cause permanent damage. By the time most can cobble together the needed funds to afford care in the USA, you may have sustained irreversible damage and be forced to live with life-long problems with teeth, gums, and bone, not to mention overall health.

Insurance Carriers:

Many major insurance carriers are very happy to pay the lower cost in Costa Rica, as they should be.  Some of these savvy insurance carriers are:

  • Aetna
  • MetLife
  • Delta Dental
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Humana Dental
  • United Healthcare

There are others, but you first need to read your policy, and/or check with your provider or agent to ask the pertinent questions.  Many dentists in Costa Rica will help you fill out the forms.  These forms are difficult, confusing and time consuming to complete. Some clinics may charge you to fill out the forms, but it is worth it.

Can you use your dental insurance in Costa Rica?

Most dental clinics in Costa Rica do not accept insurance. You will need to pay up front and be reimbursed by your insurance company after your care is complete. With or without insurance, the amount of money most patients save is worth the trip and all of the planning. Costa Rica is now recognized as a global leader in international patient dental care.

If you are interested in discussing dental care in Costa Rica, please fill out the “Help me Find a Dentist” form. A participating dental specialist will reply to your needs.

About Costa Rica Dental Guide