A little-known secret about dental tourism in Costa Rica is that local practices have several advantages over their North American and European counterparts, and one of them is related to acquisition costs with regard to technology.
When you factor in the costs of education and real estate for dental practices in the United States, dentists do not have a lot of room to finance their equipment purchases. American dentists are often faced with making concessions related to the practice spaces they lease and the treatment fees they must charge in order to cover their operational costs.
In Costa Rica, the costs of education and of leasing commercial real estate give dentists more financial breathing room, and thus they can charge significantly less for advanced treatments such as All-On-4, Zirconia crowns and full reconstructions. To perform these treatments and keep dental tourists happy, certain hi-tech equipment purchases are required.
To cater to the current dental tourism demand, the Flikier Institute of Dental Rehabilitation has made considerable investments in terms of digital imaging equipment that is needed for diagnostics and fabrication of prosthetic devices, implants, replacement teeth, etc. Costa Rica dentists testimonials often mention their radiographic equipment.
Since everything in dentistry revolves around diagnoses, the Flikier Institute decided to invest in SCANORA 3D equipment and software manufactured by Soredex, an imaging leader based in Finland. This tech firm offers special financing for dental practices located in developing nations, and thus the Flikier Institute was able to start with a set of imaging tools for a small dental office before moving on to a maxillofacial rig to help with implantation and reconstruction procedures.
The SCANORA 3D works through a technology known as cone-beam computerized tomography, which is specifically dedicated to create three-dimensional images of the entire maxillofacial region. In other words, SCANORA 3D is a full CAD/CAM system for dental practices.
The advantages of using SCANORA 3D imaging are numerous, and they start with the low doses of radiation that are required to operate this equipment, which means that patients are not exposed to dangerous levels of radiation even if their procedures require multiple imaging sessions in Costa Rica.
With SCANORA 3D equipment and related software, the dental specialists at the Flikier Institute are able to not only diagnose the oral condition of dental tourists; they are also able to show them what their dentition will look like once the procedure is successfully completed.
Implant treatment planning is a major advantage of the SCANORA 3D system. In some cases, the imaging can be performed at a local dental clinic before the dental tourist arrives in Costa Rica; this would allow the implant team at the Flikier Institute to make the necessary preparations for time-saving techniques such as the All-On-4, also known as “Teeth-in-a-Day.” The advantage in this regard is that the image files can be emailed as digital attachments that can be manipulated with SCANO 3D software in Costa Rica prior to the arrival of the patient.