I have had crowns for many years, but they need replacing. I have over a dozen in my mouth, on both my top and bottom teeth. However, I cannot afford to get them replaced by my usual cosmetic dentist, so I was considering going overseas to get them done. My research shows that I can get all my crowns replaced for a fraction of the price in the US. I was looking at several places, but Costa Rica is the place I’m most considering. Even when factoring in hotels and airfare, it is still cheaper. Would I be able to get high-quality cosmetic dental work overseas? Would the dental work I get in Costa Rica be as good as it would be in the US? Or should I just bite the bullet and get my porcelain crowns done here in the US?
Solaria, from Mars, Pennsylvania
When you need so many crowns replaced, the sticker shock can be intense. Due to the high price, you probably want to do anything in your power to save money, including seeking dental care overseas. However, comparison shopping when it comes to dental work is not a great idea. If there was something wrong with the care you received from your cosmetic dentist, you are free to look for a different dentist; however, there are things you should consider prior to seeking dental care in another country.
For example, everything may seem fine after you get the crowns, but once you return home, you may notice not everything is as it seems. Many things could go wrong – a tooth could break off, become sensitive, or need a root canal or extraction. The material used for the crowns could be low quality, look unnatural, chip, or cause an allergic reaction. If something did go wrong, you would have still have to seek help in your home state.
If the crowns are done by an inexperienced cosmetic dentist, it may cost you far more to repair the damage than it would cost to get the work done in the US in the first place. If there is a problem with the work you received, you will have few options for recouping your money or getting the work repaired. Worst case scenario, if your dentist was negligent, you will find yourself having to navigate a different country’s legal system, and may not be able to recoup your losses.
If cost is a major factor, you can try to find a different cosmetic dentist in your home state that is willing to work out a payment plan for you. You use your teeth every day, for everything from eating to speaking, so you do not want to skimp on caring for your teeth, as trying to save money could wind up costing you more in the long run. Poorly placed crowns can affect your bite so severely you develop TMJ disorder, a serious problem that requires a dentist who has studied TMJ and TMD extensively to treat.
This blog post is brought to you by Colorado Springs porcelain crown provider, Dr. Joseph Rota, of Rota Advanced Dental.