By Sherry L. Branch, GPS-Magazine
Companion Global Healthcare has added two new Costa Rican clinics to its network. Prisma Dental (www.prismadental.com) and Meza Dental (www.mezadentalcare.com) will be the dental service providers working closely with the American company to ensure safe, reliable and inexpensive dental care. With dental healthcare costs rising and provided coverage reaching caps that are minimal at best, patients are becoming more open to the idea of traveling out of the country if it means saving money.
Dental tourism not only provides the necessary care at a fraction of the cost but also gives the patient the opportunity to visit wonderfully exotic locations as well. Costa Rica, the premier destination for dental tourists, offers outstanding dentists, surgeons and medical facilities and some of the most beautiful beaches and rain forests in the world. Who would have thought that root canals and beaches would ever be used in conjunction with one another?
Sheila Liner, an employee of Plan Benefit Services, INC., in South Carolina, will be traveling to Costa Rica in November for extensive dental surgery. The procedures she will undergo range from simple x-rays to crowns and partial dentures. The total for the work being done figures out to $3,125 including molds and consultation. After her fifty-dollar deductible, her insurance provider pays 50% of the remaining $3,075, leaving Sheila with an out-of-pocket total of $1,587.50. She checked with her local dental provider and after deductible and percentage paid by insurance, her out-of-pocket came to $5,900. Liner said “The financial benefits speak for themselves for the dental procedures. As a vacation destination, I have never been out of the country, but I couldn’t imagine anywhere better than a place with palm trees, beautiful weather, and beaches to recuperate during and after having dental procedures done!” Liner has been advised to remain in Costa Rica for nine days to guarantee a smooth recovery.
As far as accommodations and transportation are concerned, there is a firm called Tropical Expeditions, Costa Rica (www.tropicaldestinationsofcostarica.com) that has teamed with Companion Global Healthcare to provide assistance with the vacation. Blue Cross Blue Shield members receive attractive rates on packages tailored specifically to the patient’s travel needs. And, there are many reputable hotels within a short distance from the dental facilities. Both clinics are located in San Jose, which puts the patient in close proximity to beaches, rain forests and volcanoes. So, whether it is the beach or a volcano that suits the mood, there are many natural wonders to explore before, during or after the dental treatments. There are also companies that will enable the traveler to ship back to the states the many treasure certain to be found.
Quick travel tips when considering Costa Rica as a dental healthcare destination:
- Travelers need a passport and a round trip airline ticket.
- Take raingear or be prepared to buy an umbrella while you are there. It is a tropical climate and rain is always a possibility.
- Packing a pair of hiking boots is a good idea if volcanoes and rainforests are your cup of tea.
- Parque del Lago HotelPhone: 011 (506) 2257-8787
- Best Western IrazúPhone: 011 (506) 2232-4811
- Apartotel CristinaPhone: 011 (506) 2220-0453
- Apartotel La SabanaPhone: 011 (506) 2220-2422
- Kalexma Bed and BreakfastPhone: 011 (506) 2232-0115
- Crown Plaza CorobiciPhone: 011 (506) 2232-8122
- Hotel Barcelo Palma RealPhone: 011 (506) 290-5060
- Barcelo San Jose PalacioPhone: 011 (506) 2220-2034
After careful cost comparative research and minimal preparation, the traveler is sure to find Costa Rica to be
at the top of the list of dental tourist destinations. There is a plethora of natural wonders to explore and quaint shops to browse or, if the traveler prefers, the sway of a simple hammock on the beach, sunning and dozing to the rhythm of the sea while wearing a brand new smile.