Roberto Sosa
Leading Maxillofacial Surgeon and Founder
Central Odontológica de Yucatán (CODY)
View from the Top

Cody Drills Into Difficult Dental Cases

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 13:57

Q: What distinguishes CODY from its competitors?

A: CODY employs highly specialized personnel and technology, such that the quality of our work is first-rate. In Merida we have become a reference point thanks to our state of the art equipment. When dentists cannot solve a patient’s problems, they refer them to us as we specialize in difficult cases. Our digital dental lab helps us make our molds and dental crowns with an accuracy of microns, sometimes employing zirconium. CODY’s two milling machines, maxillofacial scanner, and x-ray device are built in Finland. In the case of any electrical failure, our power station immediately supplies the clinic with electricity and we do not need to interrupt our services. Moreover, we offer all our services at market price, which has always been CODY’s philosophy.

However, it is very expensive for us to operate and offer competitive costs to clients. We employ an extensive personnel, including a maintenance crew, our specialists, and four engineers so maintenance costs are also high. Including periodic renovations, together these reduce our profit margin. Taxes in Yucatan total 2.4 percent of our total invoicing to federal and state taxes. Our total revenue corresponds to 10-15 percent of total billing, much of which is reinvested in renovations to remain competitive. For comparison purposes, in the US an implant crown is usually sold for US$3,000 and CODY is selling it for US$900.

Q: What opportunities in Mexico pushed you to open CODY?

A: CODY started 32 years ago to fulfill a personal dream, rather than a commercial venture. I wanted to achieve a radical change in dentist and patient mentality. In Mexico, a traditional dentist does not cover additional treatment such as orthodontics or surgery. Our idea was to consolidate all dental services in a single space, ensuring the quality of every procedure.

Q: To what extent has CODY benefited from increased medical tourism in the state of Yucatan?

A: There has been an increase in regular clients. Numbers have improved but our finances have not increased solely due to incoming foreign patients. We do not raise our pricesforpatientscomingfromabroad.Foreignpatients mostly request dental implants to take advantage of our prices and guaranteed quality service. Some foreign patients ask for operative dentistry such as dental crowns, incrustations, and fillings. For our dental implants, we use Straumann, which we believe to be the best brand of its type. Most of the materials we use are shipped from Europe, especially from Germany, Spain, and Lichtenstein.

Medical tourism is generating an impressive economic spillover so we must push to attract more foreign patients. We already have the Yucatan Health accreditation, and are working with Canada to be certified by their standards as we are try to obtain the ISO certification. In terms of promoting ourselves, in September we will attend the Medical Tourism Trade Show in Canada, so we are preparing to tour Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal, visiting retirement centers and travel agencies to promote Yucatan Health, and to promote the clinic. Most of our foreign patients hear about us through recommendations. We need to expand this to appeal online to other potential patients by offering them service packages including transportation, accommodation, translation services and of course dental services.

Q: How do you expect CODY to grow?

A: By 2018, we will be operating a local clinic in the northern part of the city. We would like to open a dental clinic with a more affordable concept, offering quality services at very low costs. This clinic would focus on preventive odontology work and restorative works, meaning extractions, callous injuries, dental fillings and acrylic based prostheses.

To fulfill this, we need help from the state Ministry of Health to allow students from colleges to work with us during their social service period. In the worst-case scenario, the investment for this project would come from our pockets because we are keen to implement the program. The clinic needs only a small profit margin to ensure operation and future growth.