Updated Guide – Dental Tourism in Costa Rica in times of the Coronavirus as of August 10, 2020.

Dental Tourism & Coronavirus

All you need to know about Dental Tourism & Coronavirus

According to the Ministerio de Salud de Costa Rica. Dental Tourism & Coronavirus – National situation: Updated: August 10, 2020.

  • Confirmed:  23872
  • New: 567
  • Nationals: 17586
  • Foreigners: 6286
  • Actives: 15805
  • Recovered: 7823
  • Deaths: 244

Dental Tourism in times of COVID-19

This guide is about Dental Tourism & Coronavirus and aims to answer the questions that people who have an interest in dental tourism may ask themselves, and have considered traveling to Costa Rica to find a quality solution to their dental problems:

  • People considering traveling to Costa Rica for dental procedures.
  • People who are already in communication with a clinic specialized in dental tourism in Costa Rica.
  • People who have already received a dental procedure in Costa Rica and are waiting for a second phase.
  • People who wonder what will happen to dental tourism after COVID-19.
  • People who want to know the current situation of dental clinics in Costa Rica that serve patients from abroad.

If you are in any of these cases then we hope this guide is helpful to you.

We present this updated guide as part of the commitment assumed by the Costa Rica dental tourism guide for the dental patient who trusts in the quality of the services offered by the different dental clinics in Costa Rica.

If you need to know more information about a procedure, a clinic or a doctor, contact us and we will gladly guide you in the most attentive way and without any commitment.

How Dental Tourism is being affected by Coronavirus

The global impact of COVID-19 has meant putting all activities on hold. 

The dental industry is part of the activities that have been affected in the different countries of the world, but in a more severe way those medical activities that depend on tourism have been affected.

The case of Costa Rica, which is positioned as a world leader in dental tourism, is no exception, since with the closure of borders, the dental tourism industry was forced to halt.

From the Dental Tourism Guide of Costa Rica, we have been attentive to the situation, in conversations with different specialized clinics and giving a strict follow-up to the events in the country and the way in which the different clinics are facing the pandemic, and how they have reacted facing their patients.

The world is experiencing historical challenges due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The effects for dental tourism have been dramatic. Governments have been forced to react based on the welfare of society. People have had to be quarantined, borders have been blocked and social distancing has been implemented.

On the other hand, dental tourism has suffered a devastating financial impact, since by remaining closed borders, patients cannot travel, which slows down the income of clinics that depend on this activity. Many clinics have closed their operations temporarily without their workers, and others have been forced to negotiate their lease terms or debts with banks.

In the case of Costa Rica, we have perceived that the trend on the part of foreign citizens continues, because despite the pandemic, there are still queries from people interested in practicing a dental procedure in the country. This means a relief for the clinics that are maintained, since according to what is arranged on August 1, 2020, the borders will be opened again for tourism in its different modalities.

Without a doubt, the Coronavirus marks a before and after for the dental tourism industry, which will continue to position itself more strongly in the near future.

What is Dental Tourism?

Dental Tourism is defined as traveling away from your hometown to another country to receive dental care. It is an option that patients from the U.S., Canada  and Western Europe are increasingly trying. 

Patients are looking to travel abroad to countries like Costa Rica, in search of dental procedures because they can get the dental care that they want and need at affordable prices and with no wait times. 

The numerous travel options have made this more possible than ever before.  Additionally, the dental clinics are world-class and the dentists are trained in the US and Europe.

Dental tourism is also known as dental vacations and dental holidays in some areas. It is a major subset of the medical tourism sector. Typically, it involves patients seeking dental care outside their own local healthcare systems. This can be accompanied by a vacation since most people also take it as a chance to explore the area they are visiting.

Dental tourism is a growing trend worldwide since the dental industry continues to become more competitive and interdependent. Most dental clinics use the same materials, techniques, and technological advances around the world, so dental care has developed quite a lot. This means that people can get state of the art care around the world at basically the same level. The main factor that remains different is the price.

Current situation of the Coronavirus in Costa Rica

The restriction of entry into the country has been established due to the emergency of COVID-19.

Only Costa Rican citizens and foreigners with legal residence in Costa Rica may enter Costa Rica.

This restriction is effective from March 18 at 11:59 p.m. until July 31 at 11:59 p.m. and applies to arrivals by land, sea and air.

People entering the country from March 16 must be quarantined for 14 days. In the following days, the Government of Costa Rica will issue the guidelines associated with opening the borders for tourism in its different forms.

Health Minister Salas stated that as of August 1, only foreigners from countries that have “controlled the spread of the coronavirus” will be allowed to enter Costa Rica; he did not specify which countries these would be but stated an announcement would be forthcoming.

Tourist stays in Costa Rica are normally limited to 90 days, but under the current COVID border restrictions, any foreigner who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 for tourism purposes has been granted an extension of stay until November 18, 2020.

Anyone arriving in Costa Rica from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days. Any arrival displaying COVID-related symptoms is being tested at the airport and the Ministry of Health is following up with all quarantining individuals.

Border Reopening

In accordance with the provisions dictated by the government of Costa Rica, borders are set to reopen to international travelers from countries with low CORONAVIRUS transmission rates after 1 August.

According to the statements made on July 23, 2020 by the health authorities, only flights from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada will be able to enter the country.

At the same time, the number of flights is restricted to 5 per week.

According to Gustavo Segura, Minister of Tourism: “These actions must be accompanied by a great deal of responsibility on the part of Costa Ricans to rigorously follow health protocols. We are all learning to manage the pandemic, so we have to make very careful decisions”

Among the measures that were dictated for the entry of foreign tourists to the country, the following must be met:

  • Present PCR test (COVID-19) where the negative result is demonstrated, 48 hours before the trip.
  • Complete the epidemiological form of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund.
  • Acquire travel insurance that covers quarantine accommodation and medical expenses for acute illness.
  • Carry facial protection, once the person enters the country.
  • Comply with the protocol of the air terminal, physical distance, disinfection of carpets, temperature taking.

Any person who does not meet these requirements will not be able to enter the country.

At the same time, it is indicated that the inclusion of new routes will be modified according to the development of the pandemic in the country and the world.

The countries that may enter are the following:

European Union: 

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands ( Holland), Poland, Portugal, Romania and Sweden.

United Kingdom: 

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Due to the rebound in cases, the United States was excluded from the official list of authorized countries.

We at the Costa Rica Dental Tourism Guide will keep US citizens updated according to new changes in this situation.

Also, until borders reopen to tourism, only Costa Rican citizens and residents are allowed to enter, and will receive a health order that requires self-isolation for 14 days. Face masks are mandatory in all public places.

The reopening is effective for the Juan Santamaría International Airport and for the Daniel Oduber International Airport in Liberia; Both airports are already prepared with protocols and sanitary security measures to receive passengers who use their terminals to enter and leave the country.

According to the official site of the Juan Santamaría Airport, operations resume during August: Lufthansa August 1, a day after Interjet, August 3 Iberia and Alaska, American Airlines on August 5, Copa Airlines and Edelweiss on August 6 and Delta on the 17th.

Dental clinics in operation

The challenge for clinics that specialize in receiving dental tourism in Costa Rica is to stay operational after everything goes back to new normal. Being able to remain in the market in a responsive way facing the patient will be essential to earn respect and confirm their position by giving a good image to the increasingly demanding dental patient.

There are hundreds of clinics in Costa Rica whose operations focus on serving dental tourism, some are part of the trusted Network of the Dental Tourism Guide of Costa Rica, due to their track record, experience and specialty, that is why we update below the list of the main clinics. If you are interested in knowing more, contact us and we will be happy to add more details.

The following clinics continue to carry out exhaustive work to keep dental patients informed of the situation. The different patient coordinators keep in touch with current patients and people who are interested in traveling to practice a dental procedure in Costa Rica.

Measures taken by dental clinics for the protection of patients.

Dental tourism clinics must follow the safety and hygiene measures promoted by the country’s health authorities. It is from the Coronavirus that the world has changed and this change must be reflected in the way you live with others. 

Therefore the clinics have reinforced the hygienic measures for the tranquility of the patients. So, for all patients who must attend a consultation must follow the directions given, precautions may include:

  • Following the signs at the entrance to the clinic.
  • Cleaning measures between patients, use of alcohol gel, hand washing, zero physical contact.
  • All patients must enter the facilities using a mask or mask.
  • Hand washing after contact with other people is necessary.
  • Do not put your hands near your mouth, eyes or nose after contacting other people.
  • In some clinics they have electronic temperature meters, which will allow detecting the appropriate levels.
  • Dentists will advise you of other measures that need to be taken prior to the dental consultation.
  • If the members of the clinic detect that there may be flu-related symptoms, they will help you take the necessary measures for your peace of mind.
  • All clinics will offer you hand sanitizer.
  • Another of the measures taken by the clinics constantly is the cleaning protocol, both for team members and for bathrooms, chairs, sofas, and other places of common use.
  • It is important that patients wear an antibacterial gel during their visit.

Because after dental surgery patients may have their immune system compromised for a few days, what is recommended is that they stay in their hotel rooms for 2 or 3 days avoiding contact with other people while the process of healing.

Taking the indicated medications will help the healing to proceed normally. Once the patient sees improvement, they can continue with their planned activities according to their dental vacation itinerary.

What is certain is that Costa Rica has known how to respond effectively and adequately to the containment of the spread of the Coronavirus, so we can assure that dental tourists will be able to enjoy their dental vacations in the best and safest way, without interrupting their activities.

Other precautions

Aside from staying at home, here is the general advice for preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds each time, or use hand sanitizer
  • Cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue, discard it immediately, and wash your hands
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and light switches

Contact us to find out what tourist activities can be carried out.

Why Dental Care in Costa Rica?

The state of dental health in the United States is at an all-time low despite being a 120 billion dollar industry. More than half the population doesn’t have dental insurance, and even those who do have it aren’t at much of an advantage. Most insurance plans have $1,000-$1,500 limitations annually, which isn’t even enough to cover half of the cost for a single $5,000 dental implant. These limitations haven’t changed in over 50 years despite the fact that prices have risen to unimaginable amounts.

There are many reasons why Costa Rica has become a global leader in dental Tourism, some of the main reasons are Quality,Convenience and especially Savings.

Quality:

Costa Rica offers quality dental care with accredited dental facilities accredited by either the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care International (AAAHCI) or the American Association for Accreditation for Ambulatory Surgery Facilities International (AAAASFI).  Many of the dentists and surgeons in Costa Rica were educated or have received training in American or western European medical institutions.

Convenience:

Costa Rica is at only a 3-5 hour flight from most places in the United States and reached via direct flight from nearly 10 major airports in North America.

Flights coming every day, there is always a sale with a fare at a price that you can afford. Costa Rica is closer than you think and flights are less expensive than you imagine. In fact, a flight from Atlanta to Costa Rica is 1 hour shorter in flying time than a flight from Atlanta to San Francisco. If you live in the southeast US, your flight time will likely be about 3 hours.

Savings:

Savings becomes into the number one reason why dental patients travel to Costa Rica, all that savings come with the quality you want and expect .

When you travel to Costa Rica for a dental procedure, you will save 50% to 70%. Even including the travel and hotel costs, the savings are substantial. A common example would be that a dental crown in the U.S. typically costs $1,000 or more, while in Costa Rica can cost $500 or less; dental implants in the U.S. can average $3,000 while in Costa Rica they are $900. This is the same crown and implant that would be used in the US. With more complex dental and medical work, the savings can be even greater.

Common procedures and their average costs.

ProcedureCost in United StatesCost in Costa Rica
Crowns$1,000 + per tooth$400 +
Dental implant$3,000$800
Porcelain Crown/Bridge$1,050$350
Root Canal$800$315
Teeth Whitening$700$250
Veneers$1,250$350

Medical success in Costa Rica against Coronavirus

Costa Rica, a world example in managing the pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization, Costa Rica has a modern hospital and clinic structure. At the public level, Costa Rica has one of the most advanced health systems in America, which has allowed it to react outstandingly in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Private clinics and hospitals equipped with all kinds of technological equipment and coupled with an internationally prepared medical and clinical staff, are few of the reasons why Costa Rica has been able to cope with the global emergency.

In the field of the dental industry, Costa Rica has positioned itself in recent years as the leader of the region, and one of the best destinations for the practice of dental tourism in the world. Hundreds of thousands of foreign patients have visited the country captivated by its beauties and by the political and economic stability that characterizes the country. With decades of hard work and preparation, dental tourism has been consolidated in the country.

It is due to the high prices for dental procedures in the USA and Canada, that patients in these countries seek quality options and at more affordable prices to perform their oral care. This is where Costa Rica is positioned, with prices that are up to 70% lower than in these countries.

Water is one of the factors that have contributed to Costa Rica positioning itself as one of the countries in the world that has best responded to the pandemic. Costa Rica has a potable water system that exceeds expectations, since it is potable, Costa Rica being one of the few countries where you can drink water directly from the tap in America.

There are many reasons that position Costa Rica. Its population, for example, has managed to comply with the health recommendations issued by the government, all on a voluntary basis, which speaks well of the inhabitants.

Live continues!!! Time to reschedule your dental appointment…

Now that the authorities in charge of containing the spread of the coronavirus have set a date for the reopening of the airports, tourism will be able to gradually start traveling to the country, and dental tourism may be activated again.

In the Costa Rica dental tourism guide we know that there are many people waiting to start a dental procedure or to travel to conclude second stages of their dental care, which they have had to postpone due to the restriction to travel.

The patient coordinators of the different clinics have been in constant communication with the patients so that they feel calm about the procedures.

On the other hand, people who have shown an interest in traveling abroad for dental care can now continue with plans to have quality dental procedures in Costa Rica.

In the Dental Tourism Guide of Costa Rica we are here to guide you in everything you need to know to make an appointment at the dental clinic that best suits your tastes and preferences.

Consult us to know your best options according to access, transportation and security.

The Future of Dental Tourism

The future of medical tourism in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

The dental tourism industry in Costa Rica, a country whose main economic activity is tourism, is severely affected by the current Coronavirus pandemic. The situation is becoming worrying as the economy has reached a point where it begins to stagnate.

Measures such as the government’s proposal that continues to restrict American access to the country, causes anxiety to grow, since dental tourism in a large percentage depends on the citizens who visit Costa Rica from the USA.

Countries around the world implemented measures such as staying home, social distancing, confinement, and travel restrictions to contain and flatten the curve of the virus.

Due to the inability of dental tourism patients to enter the country, 100% of the dental procedures that were reserved were canceled 4 months ago when the borders were closed for access to dental tourism patients. Many of the reservations have been canceled or are awaiting rescheduling, which is currently uncertain, as restrictive measures are maintained regarding the admission of dental patients from the USA.

Without a doubt, once we manage to overcome the current situation as humanity, the normality we will reach will be the new normality, where the way people communicate will have new nuances, at the same time, the way they are consumed, the companies relate to their customers physically, in relation to contact. A new way of coexistence will be embedded in the DNA of humanity.

After the Coronavirus, life will continue, the human organism will become stronger and the human being as such will evolve towards stages of greater resistance.

Society must change its dynamics, digital trends will be the rule, people will travel again, but above all, we will be more cordial, knowing that as a race we managed to overcome the virus attack, learning the respective lessons.

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