You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Magazine

Perspective

Adventures in medical tourism

Putting my money where my mouth is on a trip to Costa Rica.

NOT LONG AGO I came down with a toothache. This thing hurt like someone was jamming a screwdriver between my tooth and my gum. I would have paid any price, made any promise, confessed any crime just to make the pain go away. My dentist told me I needed a root canal and crown, which would cost $2,350. And my three existing crowns needed to be replaced, too, because they were nearing the end of their 10-year life expectancy. This would cost about another $3,600. Did I mention that I don’t have dental insurance?

I shopped around a bit, but my dentist turned out to be about average price-wise, so there was no relief there. While surfing the Internet I came across the idea of going abroad for dental work. The general term you see is “medical tourism,” a moniker I admit I don’t like. “Honey, I’ll meet you on the beach as soon as I have my gallbladder removed.” Let’s face it, it can’t be that much fun.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week