Guatemala and Costa Rica Attract Americans Seeking Low-Cost Dental CarePosted:
Patients from Louisiana and North Carolina share their dental tourism experiences in Costa Rica and Guatemala, and why they'll refer their friends and family.
While most tourists visit Costa Rica to see sloths and monkeys and go surfing or zip-lining, a growing number of Americans are opting to combine their vacation with affordable dental care, engaging in what many now call “dental tourism”. Flights that were once packed with tourists to visit Guatemala’s top ancient Mayan sites like Tikal, now have a smattering of intrepid dental tourists who will spend their vacation sitting in posh dental clinics, receiving personal attention and advanced quality dental care that few at home would believe.
As dental prices in the USA continue to soar, the market for patients seeking affordable care aboard will continue to grow. Well-positioned clinics like Goodness Dental with clinic locations in Costa Rica and Guatemala are treating patients across the age, demographic and geographic spectrum. Derk and Rhonda Wyatt from Louisiana visited Goodness Dental in November to repair dental and maxillofacial jaw trauma sustained in a car accident the year before. “I have to say that everything, from pickup at airport, lodging at hotel and especially the first class dental service is what I believe to be not only the best in Costa Rica, but quite possibly the best anywhere,” says Derk Wyatt. “The entire staff makes you feel as though you are family, and it is reflected in their work.
Cindy and Louis Zackman from North Carolina were initially hesitant to receive dental care outside of the USA. But according to Cindy Zackman, “I can now say that I am comfortable referring our family and friends to Goodness Dental. I began to research alternatives to US treatment and found Goodness Dental to be the best option for us.”
Dr. Peter Aborn, a retired NYU-trained prosthodontist and former university professor, is the international patient coordinator for Goodness Dental in Costa Rica. He believes that most patients are seeking a dental experience they simply can’t get at home. “In the USA, we’ve lost our focus on service,” says Dr. Aborn. “In Costa Rica, our entire team is focused on making sure that our patients feel completely welcome and cared-for from the moment they arrive until they board the plan home. We’ve become so incredibly close with many of our patients and we truly consider them as friends.”
Dr. John Bahr, a retired general dentist with more than 40 years of private practice experience in Kansas City, is the patient coordinator for Goodness Dental in Guatemala. “Cost savings is what drives the majority of patients to seek dental care in Guatemala. Here, our prices are sometimes seventy to eighty percent less than prices for the same dental care in cities like Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh and Atlanta. What most patients don’t expect is that they will fall in love with Guatemala and our team. That for me is the magic of dental tourism in Guatemala.
While Costa Rica is an undisputed leader in dental travel, Guatemala is quickly growing in popularity. According to GuatemalaDentalGuide.com, Guatemala will receive approximately 3200 American dental patients in 2017. This number is expected to double in 2018 as leading clinics like Goodness Dental and Dental Experts Guatemala reach more American patients seeking an affordable smile south of the border.
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