Doctors, Physicians, Dentists in Costa Rica

Medical care in Costa Rica is generally quite good.  Many doctors here were educated in the US and have returned to Costa Rica to practice.  Many speak English quite well and can provide a very decent level of quality medical care. 

Doctors associated with either CIMA or Clinica Biblica are more likely to speak English .  Clearly this is important as even those of you who KNOW Spanish quite well may not have a clue as to what are all your body parts in Spanish.  I speak Spanish moderately, but if I needed to say "spleen" or "gall bladder", I'd be in deep weeds.  Also, when I really NEED care, I have little patience trying to communicate.  I want to tell someone what hurts where, and get myself repaired!

Over the past several years however, a new market has grown that I refer to as "Medical Tourism".  I use this term for the many people who come here to obtain dental and cosmetic surgery at astonishingly inexpensive compared to the USA.

Recently... actually in one week, I had both a live tooth AND an old crown crack.  While amazingly, I was not in any pain, the cracked live tooth gave me worry as at any time, it could have become a much bigger problem. 

I went to my dentist in San Jose for the repairs.  Sadly, he also found a cavity.  The work (full cleaning, x-rays (full set), the two new crowns and the cavity) were done in two appointments and my TOTAL bill was $180.00.  I paid over double that amount when I was in the US for just the one crown that had cracked!  My brother had bridgework done and 21 crowns and HIS bill was just under $800.00.  In the US, his work may well have been $20,000 plus!  By the way, one of our contributors, Chris Howard, kindly has submitted a chart of Spanish words for common parts of the mouth and their problems.  Click here to see it.

Note to folks moving or living here about dentistry!

Costa Rica does NOT add fluoride to the water supply (see exception below).  This is really important as you may and probably will start having more dental problems such as cavities.  My dentist recently found 4 MORE cavities and a filling that had come lose.  She attributed this to the lack of fluoride, especially as I do brush and floss every day.

If you come here to live, be SURE you get regular fluoride treatments at your dentist AND use a fluoride mouthwash 2 times per day.  MOST mouthwashes do not have fluoride and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, while helpful, will NOT be sufficient!

Nip and Tuck

Cosmetic surgery is very expensive in the US, but, like dentistry, it is far less here.  It is also a LOT more fun to 'recover' in Costa Rica than in Philadelphia in January.

Private hospitals look and smell very similar to good hospitals in the US.  The public (CAJA) are crowded and long waits are frequent.

Medical Licensing in Costa Rica

All properly licensed physicians and Surgeons are members of the Colegio de Médicos y Cirujanos.

Orthodontists are member of La Academia Costarricense de Ortodoncia

The Psychologists are member of the Colegio Profesional de Psicólogos de Costa Rica

Dental surgeons are members of the Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas Costa Rica



Email this page to a friend

International Health Insurance

page on your social networks. 

© Copyright 2003-2019  by Tim Lytle
Real Costa Rica Site Map  | Advertise on the Real Costa Rica
Link to Us 
| Odds and Ends | Contact Us
Design: Black Coral Design | Hosted by: TicoSites 

Sign our Guest Book and tell us what you think

JavaScript MUST be enabled to properly use this web site. To verify if yours is, click here.

The REAL Costa Rica is best viewed at a resolution of 1024 X 768 with Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer

Visually Impaired? Is our web site hard for you to read? Click Here

Page last reviewed/revised: December 30, 2015