The Complete Guide to Dentists in Costa Rica


Going to the dentist in Costa Rica is a phenomenal way to save thousands of dollars while getting high quality, affordable care.

Dental care in the United States and Canada has become more expensive every year, and dentists in Costa Rica have positioned themselves to offer care far below US and Canadian prices.

It is estimated that Costa Rica hosted nearly 20,000 medical travelers in 2019 and as international travel picks up again, this guide you help you make the trip as well!

Costa Rica is a world class destination thanks to its wonderful biodiversity and climate, warm and welcoming people, and relaxed and friendly outlook summed up in the phrase “pura vida”, pure life.

Going to the dentist might not be your idea of a great vacation, but our travelers have saved up to $38,000 USD by making the trip, all while enjoying the rich natural natural beauty and cultural heritage of Costa Rica.

Waterfall in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is famous for its natural beauty.

Why Should I Visit a Dentist in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has a large and growing Expat community due largely to the high quality of its healthcare system. By making the trip, you can also take advantage of Costa Rica’s high quality, affordable dental care.

Here are 4 reasons to choose a dentist in Costa Rica:

1. Dentists in Costa Rica are Highly Trained

Dentists in Costa Rica must undergo a 6 year program at one of 4 dental schools within the country in order to earn their Doctor of Dental Surgery. Specialization takes another 2-3 years of study. One of the primary drivers of dental tourism in Costa Rica is the high level of care.

2. Dental Clinics in Costa Rica offer Affordable, Transparent Prices

Unlike in the United States and Canada, patients have access to clear and transparent prices that are not hidden behind a paid consultation. Travelers typically save 50-70% off of what they were quoted back home. Our patients who have traveled to Costa Rica have saved up to $38,000 USD.

3. English Speaking Providers

In order to attract international patients, dental clinics in Costa Rica have hired English speaking dentists and administrators. A language barrier will not get in the way of your care.

4. Travel is Easy and Affordable

Costa Rica is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Canada and the US have large numbers of daily flights to Liberia and San Jose.

Map of Costa Rica

How Good Is the Quality of Dental Care in Costa Rica?

Dental tourism in Costa Rica has become increasingly popular because of the high standard of care and affordable prices. Clinics often offer competitive warranties guaranteeing their work and patient satisfaction.

Just like back home, clinics vary in quality. By taking the time to do your research, you can find a provider that offers outstanding care at an affordable price.

How Do I Find a Great Dental Clinic in Costa Rica?

It is important to do your research and choose a clinic that you are comfortable with. Below are some methods we use to find outstanding providers:

First, we evaluate a clinic’s online reviews across platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Once we find a clinic that appears to have a great online reputation, we do a site visit.

During the site visit we assess sanitation based on the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention’s (OSAP) Traveler’s Guide to Safe Dental Care. We also document the technology a clinic is using and note if providers are continuing their education. We have a bias towards clinics with in-house dental labs to ensure a smooth and timely outcome.

Finally, we verify the credentials of dentists against the records of the College of Dental Surgeons of Costa Rica.

Clinics in our network have providers who trained in the United States and Germany and are members of prestigious organizations like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry  and are held to a high standard. We also keep a close touch on patient experiences over time to ensure that a restoration that was good on day 1 is holding up on day 365 and beyond.

With an appropriate amount of research, you can find outstanding dental clinics in Costa Rica, or you can leave the legwork to us!

All-on-4 Dental Implants restoration in Costa Rica
Actual Patient – OG Center

How Do I Find Great Dentists in Costa Rica?

Traveling for medical care means you have the luxury of choice. Here is how to find the best dentist for your particular case.

Check Credentials

You can check a professional’s credentials against the records of the College of Dental Surgeons in Costa Rica by entering their name or professional identification number, both of which are typically available on their website.

Request Referrals, View Testimonials, and View Portfolios

Great clinics are proud of their work, and their patients are happy to share their results! Check out testimonials and before and after photos to get an idea about the quality of a clinic.

Good news! You can easily compare dentists and clinics on our site. We’ve done the leg work, and all of the relevant information is at your fingertips. Below is an example of one of over one hundred dentist profiles listed on Apollo Medical Travel.

Dentist Profile on
Example Dentist Profile

How Much Can I Save By Going to a Dentist in Costa Rica?

Travelers who get their dental care in Costa Rica as opposed to the United States or Canada typically save 50-70% on their care.

While prices vary by location, we’ve included a cost breakdown for our 5 most commonly performed procedures below:

Average Price in the US: $1,500 USD
Average Price in Costa Rica: $350 USD
Savings: 77% Off – $1,150 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $1,100 USD
Average Price in Costa Rica: $350 USD
Savings: 68% Off – $750 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $1,850 USD
Average Price in Costa Rica: $350 USD
Savings: 81% Off – $1,500 in Savings!

Dental Implants
Average Price in the US: $4,000 USD
Average Price in Costa Rica: $1,200 USD
Savings: 70% Off – $2,800 in Savings!

Average Price in the US: $20,500 USD
Average Price in Costa Rica: $7,500 USD
Savings: 63% Off – $13,000 USD in Savings!

Do Dentists in Costa Rica Guarantee Their Work?

Yes! An excellent way to make a decision about your care is choosing clinic that has the strongest warranty on their work. Typical warranties range from 2-6 years, but some clinics offer lifetime warranties on procedures such as dental implants. You can check each clinic’s warranty information in their profile.

Customer satisfaction is paramount for clinics trying to attract foreign patients, and clinics will make sure you are taken care of.

Why Is Dental Care So Much Less Expensive in Costa Rica Than in the United States or Canada?

Overhead costs in Costa Rica are far lower than they are in the United States or Canada. The cost to rent a facility and the cost of labor are significantly reduced. Materials and technology costs are the same.

Unlike their American counterparts, dentists in Costa Rica have access to more affordable education that starts with a 6 year degree in dentistry rather than with a 4-year bachelor’s degree (often in an unrelated field) followed by dental school. Costa Rican dentists start their careers with much lower student debt than their colleagues in the US and they have significantly lower costs of living.

As a result, Costa Rican dentists are able to offer high quality services at an affordable price to American and Canadian medical tourists.

Is Costa Rica Safe?

At Apollo Medical Travel, we take safety seriously. We keep a close eye on the US State Department’s Costa Rica Travel Advisory and ensure that we only list clinics in areas that present low risk. We also conduct site visits that include security assessments.

In order to mitigate the risk of petty crime, we advise patients to leave flashy and expensive items at home, be aware of their surroundings, and refrain from drinking alcohol in excess.

Do I Need to Speak Spanish?

No, you do not need to speak Spanish. According to the US Embassy, Costa Rica hosts over 2 million travelers annually, and getting around without speaking Spanish is easy. You will have no problem communicating with the team at the clinic or with hotel and restaurant staff.

That said, a little goes a long way. Below are some quick phrases that will help you be polite:

Hello: Hola (oh-lah)
Please: Por Favor (por fah-vor)
Thank You: Gracias (grah-see-ahss)
You’re Welcome: De Nada (deh nah-dah)
Goodbye: Adiós (ah-dee-ohss)

If you want to know more, check out this helpful phrase guide.

How Do I Get to Costa Rica?

Foreign visitors almost exclusively fly in to Costa Rica.

Getting to Costa Rica by Air

Costa Rica boasts direct flights from across the United States and Canada, with major international airports located in San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR).

We recommend travelers compare prices using sites such as and Roundtrip airfare between the United States and Costa Rica can easily be found for less that $500 USD.

Will I Need Auto Insurance If I Am Driving In Costa Rica?

Yes. Insurance is required in order to drive in Costa Rica. You may have coverage through a travel credit card, but most likely you will have to purchase insurance through the rental company.

Is My Driver’s License Valid In Costa Rica?

Yes, A US or Canadian Driver’s License is valid in Costa Rica.

What Payment Methods Are Accepted in Costa Rica?

Cash is the preferred method of payment in Costa Rica, particularly for routine procedures such as cleanings. This is not practical for larger procedures, however, and traveler’s checks, personal, checks, Bank Transfers, PayPal, and Credit Cards are acceptable methods of payment. It is important to note that PayPal and credit card payments incur a small processing fee between 3-4% at most clinics.

Up to date information about payment methods can be found in the profiles of all of the clinics on our site.

Can I Use My Insurance in Costa Rica?

Clinics in Costa Rica will assist you in filling out a claims form. Before your trip, you should call your insurance company to make sure you know what forms you will need to bring.

Can I Use CareCredit in Costa Rica?

No, CareCredit is only accepted within the United States.

Are Financing Options Available?

Yes, financing is available through companies like MedicalTourismLoan, and you can see options available for personal loans at MoneyRate.

Do I Need to Pay a Deposit in Costa Rica?

Some clinics require a deposit before starting major medical work. For routine and basic care, no deposit is required. If you have any questions, a patient coordinator will be happy to assist you on your specific case.

How Do I Get Started?

 Get started by browsing high quality clinics on our site. Compare the price and quality of different providers, and get no-obligation, free quotes.

When you are ready, we make it easy to book an appointment through our site.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via chat, or give us a call at +1 (888) 382-4929

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. minimafe

    I’m planning on getting an AirBnB in San Jose. Do you have a recommendation for the best neighborhood or area to stay in?

    1. Wesley Jacobs

      I love the Escalante neighborhood, and that’s where I always stay. If you can, book a room in the URBN Escalante.

Leave a Reply