Dental implants are easily the most common dental procedures practiced in Costa Rica for the benefit of dental tourists. Among the various techniques used by dental implantology experts in Costa Rica, the All-On-8 is often recommended for patients who are dealing with edentulous conditions, which means that they are losing their teeth.
The Costa Rica All-On-8 is similar to the All-On-4 and All-On-6 techniques; these are all implantations that follow methods that are less invasive than traditional implants. The number that follows the names of these procedures denotes the number of fixed bridges that will be permanently set as a replacement dentition.
By virtue of being a prestigious dental practice that caters to dental tourists in Costa Rica, the Flikier Institute of Dental Rehabilitation performs All-On-4 implantation procedures quite often. Not all dental practices in Costa Rica are able to provide these modern implantation procedures; first of all, the staff must be comprised of the right mix of implantologists and prosthodontists. Then there is the matter of having invested in the technology needed to carry out procedures such as the Costa Rica All-On-8, which requires advanced imaging and fabrication.
Although the All-On-4 technique is often known as “Teeth-in-a-Day,” the same cannot be said of All-On-8. Each case will vary, but dental tourists may have to stay between two to four days for the procedure to be completed. It should be noted that it may not always be reasonable to replace an entire dentition in a day.
How the Costa Rica All-On-8 is Performed
As with all other dental implantation procedures in Costa Rica, the All-On-8 starts with a thorough assessment of oral health, paying particular attention to the condition of gum tissue and bone density.
The process can be explained in the following five steps:
- Initial contact: Prospective dental tourists contact the Flikier Institute via phone and email. The goal is to understand the needs of the patient and the objectives of the dental team. A collaboration with a local dental clinic in North America or Europe may be sought, and imaging files may be sent to Costa Rica as digital attachments.
- Dental vacation planning: A tentative treatment plan is established. Dental counselors in Costa Rica guide the patient through the process of booking flights, lodging, ground transportation, and visits to the clinic in San Jose. Pricing may be discussed at this stage, but with the understanding that it may be subject to change based on the evaluation.
- Initial visit: Dental tourists get preferential treatment at the Flikier Institute because the dental team knows that the patient’s time is limited. Thereby, the initial visit and treatment consultation may be combined, particularly if 3D digital imaging was conducted in North America or Europe ahead of the visit. The treatment plan and pricing can be agreed in this step so that surgery may proceed.
- Surgery day: Depending on the treatment plan, minimal bone grafting and extractions may be required. Dental tourists should not be surprised by the doctor’s recommendation of the All-On-4 technique instead of All-On-8. It is always wiser to choose the least invasive and most cost-effective technique for the benefit of the patient.
- Making the teeth: As surgery is being performed, the patient is being evaluated so that he or she can learn about the implant choices available. It is important to discuss details such as the tone of the new teeth, their shape, the amount of gum tissue that will be shown with each smile, etc. Digital molds are extensively used these days, but a prior determination of physical molds may be made in some cases. Once the teeth are set in the final step, post-surgical x-rays are taken and the patient is counseled on follow up visits at home as well as on how he or she will take care of the new dentition.
Costa Rica All-On-8 Advantages
The combination of surgical techniques, advanced equipment and materials make it possible for the Flikier Institute to provide All-On-4, All-On-6, and All-On-8 procedures to dental tourists.
These procedures are ideal for dental tourism because they can be performed quickly without being too invasive, and they are quite affordable when compared to traditional implantation. Dental professionals like these procedures because they diminish risk to patients and because they have a high rate of success.
The choice of reconstruction technique is always made by the dental team, but this decision is based on the reality faced by each patient. Not all dental tourists will require a reconstructive procedure. Some may require extensive bone grafting or even periodontal surgery to strengthen their oral structure.