Americans Reject U.S. Dental Care in Favor of Lower-Cost Options Overseas

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New report profiles Americans abandoning costly U.S. dental care in favor of lower-cost alternatives in places like Costa Rica—and vacationing on the savings.

Increasingly, U.S. patients in need of dental care are opting to go overseas where equivalent treatments are a fraction of what they cost back home - a recent report from the overseas experts at reveals. For less than the cost of treatment alone in the United States, a patient can receive high-quality care—and a vacation—abroad.

Dental care costs have been increasing rapidly in the U.S. in recent years. However, only 55% of U.S. residents have dental insurance so almost half are forced to pay out-of-pocket for dental work.

Many of those who do have insurance are still paying 50% of costs when deductibles and co-pays are factored in.

As a result, many Americans who need a significant amount of dental work done are turning to treatment options outside the country where costs run about 30% to 50% of U.S. prices. A Deloitte Center for Health Solutions study estimates a 35% annual growth rate in the number of Americans heading abroad for lower-cost medical treatments, many of which are dental-related.

Dental care in countries like Mexico, India, or Costa Rica is a fraction of the U.S. cost and standards are extremely high – often exceeding what is on offer in the U.S.

“I lost my dental insurance along with my job in the recession and I needed over $2,000 in dental work,” said American Starr Daubenmire in's report.

“I could either go to my home-town dentist, just 10 minutes from my house, and spend $2,100 in a few hours—or I could get the same work done in Costa Rica and have a 10-day vacation, too, for about $2,600.”

Daubenmire said that a crown that would have cost $1,200 in her U.S. clinic, was only $400 in Costa Rica, while the other treatments she underwent were similarly inexpensive.

“The treatments abroad came to just over 35% of the total price quoted by my dentist back in Ohio,” said Daubenmire. “Plus, the facilities were spotless and the X-ray technology was more modern than what I’ve seen in the States.”

Daubenmire, like many other Americans going overseas for treatments, used the opportunity to visit her host country.

“My first stop was Arenal, about three hours from San José,” she said. “It was the most exotic place I’ve ever visited. It’s an experience of a lifetime to lounge at the foot of a volcano, bathe in thermal waters, and enjoy all the flora and fauna.” also revealed details of a gentleman from New Hampshire who traveled to Costa Rica for a complete mouth restoration, which included bone grafts.

He had been quoted $55,000 in the U.S. but opted to undergo treatment in Costa Rica instead. His total bill came to $24,000 – which included all travel costs for him and his wife for two month-long trips.

To read’s full article, see here:“Travel to Costa Rica for Low Cost Dental Care”.

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For more than 30 years, has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. has more than 200 correspondents traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

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