According to Business Insider, back in 2016, it was estimated that over 1 million Americans would travel across the border, either into Mexico or Canada, to receive health care. Due to the staggering costs of medical care in the United States, many Americans consistently search for quality healthcare at a cheaper price.
And that is exactly what Mark McMahon is looking to help with.
As a former Tuscon, Arizona dentist, McMahon is used to patients complaining about exorbitant healthcare fees. So while he was traveling over the border, he went undercover as a patient to many different Mexican dentist offices to see if the quality of care was up to American standards.
He found that the Mexican dental care was on par, if not better, and came up with an idea to help bring Americans over the border in a search of cheaper dental work. Plus, considering that half of all adults say they visit their dentist only every six months, oral care in America is becoming dire simply because of the cost.
McMahon noticed that the problem with Americans is that they often let their oral hygiene go until they can’t stand it anymore. This tends to happen because of the high cost of dental procedures. For example, a dental crown and root canal in the United States averages around $2,500 to $3,000, when in Mexico it costs around $800.
So, McMahon decided to make a business out of it. He sold his dental practice, set up Coyote Dental, which is a play on smugglers who help immigrants cross the border into the United States, and now drives a car full of Americans across the border every Tuesday and Thursday to Mexican dentists waiting for them.
Some of the dentists McMahon works with are actually from the United States but chose to move to Mexico because of the cheaper cost of school. McMahon explains that they all follow the same standards of American dental care, with some even having more expensive and up-to-date technology that you can rarely find in the United States.
For example, one of the dentist offices has a machine that can carve a customized crown for a tooth in minutes. It is hard to come about this technology in normal American dentist offices, yet this Mexican office has two.
Instead of owning his own practice, McMahon loves what he is doing, and believes he has a lot of potential in changing how Americans view health care across the border. He explains to Tuscon.com:
“I realized, because the prices were so low, I wasn’t going to make a lot of money as a dentist. But I saw this huge opportunity for the fact that just across the border is this incredible wealth of dental providers and technology.”