There are two main reasons that people list when asked why they don’t go to the dentist as often as they should:
1. Costs: the majority of people especially in North America feel that dental treatments are too expensive
2. Fear: Fear of being in pain, of the instruments used, or even the sounds or smells of a dental clinic.
Most people don’t look forward to dental appointments, just like the majority of us don’t look forward to going to an appointment with our physician either. Sometimes, the fear obeys to a previous bad experience, sometimes, the fear and anxiety is unfounded, but it still exists, and some people will avoid going to the dentist for years, neglecting their oral and general health and ending up with badly damaged teeth and infections that cause inevitably pain and a big bill.
Luckily, seeking dental care in Costa Rica can solve both these problems.
Every year more and more people fly to Costa Rica on vacation and take advantage of their time in the country to get dental work done, there are many reasons to choose Costa Rica as your destination for dental tourism, price is just one of them. Dentists in this country offer the same quality of care and service as dentists in North America, also, high quality in materials and technology, but, at a much more affordable rate. Getting your dental work done in Costa Rica can save you up to 75%.
If the problem is fear and anxiety of going to the dentist, this can also be solved by seeking the right dental clinic in Costa Rica.
Pain Free Dental Care in Costa Rica:
If you had a negative experience in the past you must consider that a) not all dentists are the same and b) dentistry has come a long way, and with the help of science and technology going to the dentist today doesn’t have to be a traumatizing experience.
We asked Dr. Simon Flikier, of the Flikier Dental Institute in Costa Rica, about options that patients have today to deal with anxiety and fear of going to the dentist, and he explained:
“It is not uncommon for patients to feel anxious or scared of going to the dentist, but it is important that they realize that this problem has a solution, the first and most important step is to find the right dentist. When you choose a dentist and a dental clinic you trust and feel comfortable with that alone will bring down the anxiety considerably. The second step is to speak freely to your dentist about your fears and concerns and discuss not just all the details of your treatment but also the different options available to reduce the discomfort and anxiety”.
Some of the options available as explained by the specialist are:
Pre-Medication: This is one of the most common methods used and it is a good option for patients that only require a mild or moderate medication to reduce anxiety, the medication helps them relax and induces sleep. It also helps reduce inflammation.
Nitrous Oxide: Commonly known as laughing gas, this is a safe and effective sedative gas mixed with oxygen and inhaled through a small face mask placed over the patient’s nose. It allows the patient to feel calm and comfortable while remaining conscious. It is important to know that only trained and licensed dentists can offer and use this method. It is also important that an assistant in the clinic is present while the patient is under the influence of the Nitrous Oxide.
Intravenous Sedation: This involves administering a sedative drug directly through the vein, it work quicker than the oral medication and allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation. Once again, it is important that it is applied by a trained dentist or professional (nurse or physician); it is also recommended that someone comes in with the patient and is present during the procedure.
General anesthesia: This method is not commonly used, but it is a possibility in very extreme cases; it has to be administered by an anesthesiologist, it requires previous lab tests and there are risks and complications associated with it. It is not ideal or recommended unless it is the only alternative available.
These methods help the patient stay calm during the dental procedure but in addition patients will receive local anesthesia in treatments that cause some level of discomfort.
“Communication is key, a patient should always express any and all concerns, they must also inform the dentist in advance of any health conditions, medication they are taking, etc. that could in any way affect or interact with any sedatives offered, it is also very important that they verify that their dentist is licensed and properly trained to apply certain types of sedatives. We, at the Flikier Dental Institute strive to offer a relaxing and comfortable space and inform our patients in detail of each procedure and the options we have available to properly handle anxiety and pain”, concluded Flikier.