For the past three months, Paul McTaggart has run Dental Departures from Bangkok. In the 10 months before that, he operated the three-employee, $1 million business from various cities in Mexico. Dental Departures connects Americans, Canadians, and others who can’t afford out-of-pocket dental costs locally with dentists in 27 countries where quality dentistry is cheaper.
McTaggart founded the company in 2010 while consulting on mobile payment technology for Microsoft’s retail outlets. In October 2012, as Dental Departures gained traction, McTaggart, his wife, and their two young children rented out their home in Seattle, sold most of their possessions, and hit the road. “If my company is going to connect dental patients with dental clinics in other countries, I want to see them with my own eyes,” he says. “There’s no substitute for being on the ground.”