Dental Tourism: How I Paid $800 for Surgery in Costa Rica, Instead of $8,000

Dental Tourism: How I Paid $800 for Surgery in Costa Rica, Instead of $8,000

As I sit on my hotel balcony overlooking the city lights of Escazu in Costa Rica, my jaw hurts. I came here for two reasons: to enjoy this beautiful country and experience their food and culture, and to get my wisdom teeth out.

You see, back home my quote for having surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth (which I’d been putting off for years) was over $8,000. If I managed to pay that, I knew I wouldn’t have a travel budget for a while! I didn’t know what to do or how I was going to come up with that kind of cash, but time wasn’t on my side. My teeth had started to become more and more problematic. Then I got an e-mail from a friend who works as a nurse in Holland. She recommend that I check out dental tourism in either Thailand or Costa Rica.

In less than a week since my surgery, my face is finally back to normal, the swelling is almost completely gone, and I’m able to eat again.

This wasn’t something I had ever considered or even thought about! Surely travel expenses, surgery, and hotel fees would far out way the cost of getting my teeth pulled at home? Not even close. Upon inspection, flights via Miami from Bermuda  totaled under $500 round trip–or 20,000 air miles and $180. I chose the latter.  The entire procedure, which included being sedated by a highly trained dental surgeon who spoke fluent English and was very professional, cost me under $1,300. And if I hadn’t been such a nervous patient and had gone only with novocaine it would have cost under $800. Yes, you heard correct $800 vs. $8,000!

The prices vary depending on what doctor or dentist you pick, as well as the procedures, but the prices are far cheaper then the rates found in the United States or Canada. The service and staff are all very up-to-date and professional. I advocate doing your research and checking things out before buying your ticket.

If I managed to pay that, I knew I wouldn’t have a travel budget for a while!

Yet, I took a leap of faith when I decided to come to Costa Rica. In less than a week since my surgery, my face is finally back to normal, the swelling is almost completely gone, and I’m able to eat again. This is nothing less than amazing considering the complex surgery that I underwent only a few days ago, which included removing parts of my jaw bone (he took the least amount possible). I would call this trip a success! If I need any dental work in the future, I’ll come back in a heart beat!

If you’re planning to travel to Costa Rica for dental tourism, I recommend staying at Casa 69 in San Jose. Not only was it close to my dentist’s office, but the staff are very kind and considerate of people visiting for dental tourism and have many guests who stay with them for that exact reason. Also, check out the Jade Museum, an art and history museum only five minutes from the hotel.

Dental Tourism: How I Paid $800 for Surgery in Costa Rica, Instead of $8,000

Now, I’ve relocated to Escazu, to begin the part of my trip dedicated to exploring Costa Rica!

 

About Julia Markham

Julia MarkhamBermuda born freelancer, working in design and marketing.
Passions include: Travel, Gluten free living, animal rights advocacy and being a complete beach bum.

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