I need twelve dental crowns done. After doing some calling around, I learned I can get this done for just $6000 in Costa Rica. I would have to stay two weeks, but that’s like a vacation and it is still cheaper than what I can do in the states. My sister is freaking out saying this is a huge mistake. She asked me to at least call my dentist and get his opinion on this plan, but of course he’s going to say don’t do it because then he gets my money. I came across your website. You are across the country from me and have no chance of getting my money, so what do you think of my plan?
I’m glad you wrote. I think I can save you a lot of grief. The dental industry is a real risk in Costa Rica. Because of the way their legal system is set up you have no recourse if something goes wrong. And let me tell you, a LOT can go wrong. Here are just a handful that come to mind:
- A tooth can be broken off or lost
- Overdrilling could take place causing nerve or root damage
- You could end up needing a root canal treatment
- Your bite can get thrown off leading to painful TMJ Disorder
- Once you return home, the crowns can fall off
- The crowns could look terrible, pasty, fake, and the wrong color
- Poor placement of the crowns can impact your speech
Believe me, I am not exaggerating here. I recently read a case that you can read about in total here, but I will sum it up. A woman went to Costa Rica to save money on her dental care. The job was so badly done that she was in terrible pain. A dentist in the states called it criminal negligence and it would cost her around $35,000 to get the needed repairs done. Of course, she didn’t have that kind of money. She tried to get her money back from the Costa Rican dentist, even hiring a lawyer from the area, who was on her side. However, the law in that area is very corrupt and she ended up getting in trouble for complaining about a Costa Rican dentist publicly who had not been convicted of any crime and they put a warrant out for her arrest. She ended up having to flee the country.
You are at particular risk because of the number of dental crowns you need. There is a lot that could go wrong with that type of bite placement. My advice is to find a dentist here in the states with good qualifications and let him or her do the work. You may even be able to work out payment arrangements. Leave the Costa Rica trip for a true vacation, where you are not putting yourself at risk.