Attracting Business Through Dental-TechnologyWed, 09/07/2016 - 12:12
Q: How have your operations evolved since opening?
A: I started with a consultancy practice and then realized I needed a clinic and it has grown from there. I had a problem in that the maker of my prosthesis, dentures and crowns was located in Merida. There were no dental laboratories in Cancun. Patients that come from abroad only come for a week, so in that short time the work needed to be completed in full. Due to this, I decided to invest in opening my own laboratory to satisfy the needs of my patients. That has been running since mid-2011. In addition to covering my own needs, I supply to 10 other orthodontists in the area. Thanks to technology, I can have a product ready in three days. Patients want few appointments and a job well done.
Q: What differentiates you from your competitors?
A: Primarily, I guarantee my work for life. It is highly unlikely to break or falter in quality. If something were to happen, I would repair it at no extra cost to the patient. If it is due to a fault in the patient’s bone that causes the damage to my work, I also inform the patient. I cannot control their bone structure or oral hygiene habits such as tobacco usage. Even so, I have only two lines of dental implants, which are the best in the world. In some cases, patients know I can put in the implants and they can have the work finished in the US if needed, as the provider gives me support. They replace their products at no cost if they are faulty or have a problem.
Q: What other key alliances do you have that allow you to operate in this way?
A: I do not have alliances as such, but if a doctor from another country has doubts, we speak over the phone. My only alliances are with the suppliers. I do not ally myself with companies that come offering discounted products, as I know they do not have the background.
Q: What are the treatments that you offer?
A: In orthodontics, we have patients that come for regular checkups. Some foreign patients come for braces and their local dentists do the follow-up treatments. I get more and more patients with no teeth at all who come for a complete set of implants or veneers.
Q: Where is medical tourism going in the next few years?
A: It will increase. There are more and more people coming to Mexico. I think we will start to see more complex procedures that require two or three visits a year or a visit every six months. I think that due to the tax and insurance US doctors pay, they will continue to raise their prices. A doctor of my specialty in the US is a millionaire. Here, we belong to the middle-high income bracket. I would like to see Mexican doctors raise their prices so we can be more equal with our counterparts in the US. All the material and machines I use are imported from the US. I have to pay tax and it costs me almost double what the material costs over there.
Q: What pushes medical tourism in Mexico?
A: The patient wants good quality or acceptable quality work at a much lower price. Some are too afraid to come to Mexico despite the quality and lower price of our work. Little by little, through references of my patients, others come.
Q: What certifications do you have that help you win prospective patients' trust?
A: The certifications we can obtain are through the Mexican Dental Association. We attend many classes, talks and forums for which we do not receive any certificates. Any doctor that goes to a class and pays can obtain a piece of paper that certifies he went; it does not mean he is capable of doing a good job. Sadly, there are many cases of work done by certified doctors that did not work. I would like international certifications.
Q: What are your short-term projects?
A: We are in the middle of a project of making personalized braces with a 3D printer. We are also working on making surgical guides to operate on patients with implants by feeding data into a radiograph. It is already happening in Merida but I want to do it a little differently. My wife is an orthodontist, so we want to buy a machine that does both things. Such a machine was only recently launched in Chicago this February and it is not yet available for sale. We hope to have it in a few months.