Costa Rica is renowned for its natural beauty as well as for its excellent quality dentistry at an affordable price.  Thousands of patients from the United States and Canada fly to Costa Rica every year to have dental care provided by friendly, English speaking dentists who are often trained in the United States. Sifting through a multitude of websites can be an overwhelming experience, but with these tips, you can be sure to find a great dentist.


Search travel forums
Travel forums offer a great venue to speak with other dental patients who have actually travelled to Costa Rica for their treatment.  You can quiz them for advice, recommendations on dentists, and discover a little bit more about what dental travel to Costa Rica is like.  Be forewarned that travel forums can be populated by dental clinic employees, former patients with grudges, and other biased individuals who have a vested interest in steering you to/away from certain clinics.  Sort through the chaff and you can find some excellent advice.
Start with these websites, and search for ‘dentist in Costa Rica.’  You must search in the Costa Rica forums sections on Topix.
http://www.topix.com/forum/world/costa-rica/
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ForumHome

Visit the dentist’s own websites
Once you have gathered the names of some dentists from travel forums, find them online through a search engine.  Browse through their websites and try to get a feel for what the clinic has to offer.   However, you will only get a one-sided opinion of the dental practice, and the success of a clinic in marketing itself online is not necessarily indicative of its quality.  Also, most dentists do not have complete information about themselves and their practice on their website.  Further troubling the matter is the fact that the Costa Rican dental board does not allow clinics to publish their own prices online.  Nevertheless, checking out their websites can give you a good first impression and insight into each clinic.

Check your dentist’s credentials
The College of Dental Surgeon’s of Costa Rica maintains a website that lists every dentist who is licensed to practice dentistry in Costa Rica.  They also list every dentist who has a suspended license.

http://colegiodentistas.org/cms/

This page is in Spanish.  Click on the tab marked ‘Miembros’ in order to see all active members.  Click on the tab marked ‘Suspendidos’ to see find dentists who are no longer licensed.  Click on the tab marked ‘Especialistas’ to see lists of dentists by specialty.
Although many dentists call themselves “implantologists,” this is not an internationally recognized dental credential.  Ideally, if you are having implants placed or extensive mouth reconstruction done, you should see a prosthodontist.  Prosthodontists are dentists who specialize in cosmetic dentistry and receive an additional 3-4 years of schooling and intensive training, focusing on replacing teeth and planning mouth and jaw restorations.

If you are having implants or extensive dental work done, make sure that the clinic employs a prosthodontist.  You can check the list of prosthodontists working in Costa Rica by clicking on the tab marked ‘Especialistas,’ scrolling down and clicking on the link labeled ‘Prostodoncia.’

Compare dentists with an independent source
Dental Departures is an independent website where you find out all the information you need to know about excellent dentists in Costa Rica.  You can comparison shop by looking at clinic photos, prices, and patient reviews.  Contact the dentists, request price quotes and make an appointment all on one site.  The dentists are hand-selected and background checked in order to ensure their quality, and Dental Departures guarantees you will be given the lowest prices from each dentist.  Many of the dentists are trained in the United States and all speak English.