Whitening in Costa Rica

The Ultimate Guide to Whitening in Costa Rica

Last fact-checked: 29 March 2020

Off to explore Costa Rica’s stunning beaches, volcanic landscape and endless rainforests? Then why not return home with a stunning white smile by having professional, affordable teeth whitening while you are there? Book an appointment with Dental Departures and save around 60% on the cost you'd pay at home.

Carried out in a specially licensed dental clinic, laser teeth whitening gives you a noticeably whiter smile in a matter of hours. Barely a full morning or afternoon out of your holiday schedule and you can return home feeling more confident and looking your best.

Aside from a little sensitivity for a day or two in some patients, the treatment is painless - so you’ll be free to carry on with all your usual holiday activities, like snorkeling, jungle treks or just sitting back with a cup of that famous Costa Rican coffee.

Why Have My Teeth Whitened in Costa Rica?

When people think of ‘dental tourism,’ they might tend to imagine going on a trip to a far-flung country for the sole purpose of obtaining important yet inexpensive dental treatment (and potentially saving thousands). While this is the case for many, a growing number of people are now having minor procedures carried out while enjoying a normal vacation, simply because it is so much more affordable than back home.

Teeth whitening falls into this latter category. Once an expensive treatment associated with only the rich and famous, prices can be found in the low three-digit region (rather than high three-digits in the US) in popular dental tourism destinations, like Costa Rica.

But let’s be honest:. Are you going to fly all the way to Costa Rica just to save a few hundred dollars on teeth whitening? Probably not, as those flights and accommodation costs are going to negate any savings. However, if you are already planning or thinking about a trip to this exotic Central American country and want to finally fix those yellowing teeth, having professional laser teeth whitening while you are there makes perfect sense.

There are different systems widely available and dentists in Costa Rica use the same teeth whitening systems available in the US. You will not be receiving inferior treatment or an inferior whitening brand just because the price is lower. The discounts are because the cost of living is considerably lower in CR than in North America.

How Long Does Teeth Whitening Take in Costa Rica?

Laser whitening at your dentist's office actually involves less time and fewer visits to your dentist than obtaining a professional at-home whitening kit. Unlike less effective over-the-counter products, laser and at-home whitening kits use a peroxide gel to lighten the teeth (both of which are explained in more detail below). 

Laser Teeth Whitening: Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth to remove stains and tartar. Your lips, gums and cheeks will be shielded so that they are not exposed to the bleaching gel. You will be given protective goggles to protect your eyes from the laser.

The gel will be applied to your teeth and the laser applied. After 15 minutes or so the gel is removed and the process repeated two or sometimes three times. After the final application, your dentist will remove all traces of the gel and clean your teeth thoroughly and the procedure is complete. (Note: some brands require only one longer application of up to 45 minutes).

Professional At-Home Whitening Kits: You will need to visit your dentist twice for this procedure as custom-made trays need to be made (these hold the gel which is applied to the teeth at home). On your first visit, your dentist will take impressions and send these to the lab for the trays to be made. It’s back to the dentist after a few days, who will then show you how to use the trays together with the gel.

The gel-filled trays are to be worn every night until you are happy with the degree of whitening achieved, although you will be advised as to how long this should take.


What Is the Cost of Teeth Whitening in Costa Rica Compared to the US or Canada?

Laser tooth whitening costs around $600 in the United States, but in Costa Rica, it is only $250. Professional home whitening kits are around $500 in the States but just $150 in Costa Rica.

With the money you save on laser tooth whitening you could also get a take-home kit to keep your white teeth brighter for longer - just be careful not to overdo it!

Some of our top-rated clinics throughout Costa Rica include:

Costa Rica All on Four (San Jose)

Clinica Mario Garita (Escazu)

Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica (Alajuela)

Tabash Dentistry (San Jose)

How Do I Book Teeth Whitening in Costa Rica?

That’s easy! Simply call our toll-free number or book online with us any time of the day or night to set up your teeth whitening appointment in Costa Rica. You can find Dental Departures’ list of verified laser teeth whitening clinics in Costa Rica here.


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Teeth Whitening. NHS. Website accessed: 04 March 2019. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/teeth-whitening/" target="_blank

Jenn, Parker. 10 Things to Experience on Costa Rica's Caribbean Side. The Culture Trip. 21 August 2018. https://theculturetrip.com/central-america/costa-rica/articles/10-things-to-see-and-do-on-costa-ricas-caribbean-coast/" target="_blank