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Pictures | Mon Nov 26, 2012 | 6:23pm EST

Sun, sand and root canal: Medical tourism booms in Costa Rica

Two dentists work on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Two dentists work on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the...more

Two dentists work on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist extracts a tooth from Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist extracts a tooth from Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist extracts a tooth from Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist shows a radiograph of a mouth belonging to a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist shows a radiograph of a mouth belonging to a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are...more

A dentist shows a radiograph of a mouth belonging to a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist places a dental implant for Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist places a dental implant for Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009....more

A dentist places a dental implant for Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dental mold is pictured in front of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dental mold is pictured in front of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dental mold is pictured in front of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, leaves a dental clinic after receiving treatment in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, leaves a dental clinic after receiving treatment in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009....more

Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, leaves a dental clinic after receiving treatment in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist checks the teeth of a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist checks the teeth of a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian,...more

A dentist checks the teeth of a U.S. patient, at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist works on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist works on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the...more

A dentist works on a U.S. patient at a dental clinic in San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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Dentist prepare Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Dentist prepare Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Dentist prepare Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla, near San Jose November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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A dentist removes the denture mold of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

A dentist removes the denture mold of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009....more

A dentist removes the denture mold of Marlene Trithardt, a Canadian patient, at a dental clinic in Sabanilla near San Jose, November 1, 2012. Around 40,000 medical tourists visited Costa Rica last year, compared to 36,000 in 2010 and 30,000 in 2009. Most of them are American and Canadian, according to the country's tourism institute, ICT. Of that number, almost 15,000 of them traveled for dental care, said Massimo Manzi, director at Promed, the council for international promotion of medicine in Costa Rica. Picture taken November 1, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate
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