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Dr. John Halmaghi is in private practice in Southfield, MI, and has been a pioneer in cosmetic dentistry and complex dental care. A graduate of The University of Michigan, Medical College of Ohio, and University of Buffalo, he has maintained over ten times the national continuing education credits, and has written and published numerous articles and textbooks sold internationally. He loves to take on challenging cases. Visit his website.

Once you have made the great decision to start performing Halitosis treatment, you will have to decide how you are going to market this service. Here are some ideas you may want to keep in mind. The logical way to tell patients about your treatment is to send a letter to all of them, informing them of your new service. Include a coupon either for a free consultation or 50% off of your regular fee for the breath treatment. Then, post an announcement in your office indicating to all patients that you are now performing breath cure. Place brochures at your front desk, and distribute any other visual material that you can throughout the office. Also consider doing free Halimeter® tests on all of your patients. Inform all patients about the new treatment! Let everyone know how you can help them, in an unobtrusive and inoffensive manner. Please remember that patients are very sensitive about breath issues. Here are some good opening lines:

“Mrs. Jones, we now have a computer that can detect possible breath problems.”

“Even I didn’t know I needed help until we bought this computer and I analyzed my breath.”

“The Halimeter® has helped me and my staff because it gives us an insight on how to help prevent or cure such problems. Would you like a free reading today?”

Instruct your front office on this new protocol, and don’t be afraid to bring up the issue of halitosis. You already have a relationship with your patients and you’re not getting more “personal,” you are just informing them of a new service. Do the reading before any dental work is performed, so that you get an accurate level. Here is an excerpt of the letter that I sent to all of my patients when I started doing breath treatment:

Dear friends, our office is now performing one of the greatest services possible for all of you. It is called Halitosis Treatment, and it can change your life. Nearly every one of us suffers from bad breath problems at some point. One in four of us suffers from chronic bad breath, a condition that can have serious personal and professional implications. We all use mints and mouthwashes to try to get relief; however these products actually make our breath worse. We can show you why!

Some of us may not be aware of the problem that may be plaguing us. If you’re not sure about your breath, then do the following:

Lick the back of you hand, wait 5 seconds, and smell it. Sorry about the disgusting part, but now you realize what other people may be sensing about your breath. Don’t wait any longer to schedule an appointment. Our new Halimeter® computer will assess the severity of your problem, and we can show you how to cure your bad breath for the rest of your life. The analysis is free, and all of the products that you need are only $27 (at the time this article was written). Wait no longer…call us today!!!

As an immediate result of this letter, I scheduled 25 patients, and now we see a minimum of two patients per day for this service. We have expanded to do some outside marketing, including cable commercials and Yellow Page ads. You can actually get a free listing in your Yellow Pages under Halitosis Treatment. If your local Yellow Pages does not have this section, then ask your rep to make up a Halitosis section in the Pages and place your listing for free.

If you like, you can also take out small ads in local health magazines or local newspapers. You can also do press releases or write a column for the health editor. Free publicity is the key! Don’t forget about internet marketing. It’s inexpensive and can bring you many patients.

We see at least two or three patients per week that come from other offices for our breath cure. I always hear the same thing:

“I have been getting regular cleanings all of my life, but I am concerned about my breath. My dentist just tells me to use mouthwash, brush, and floss. However, I still feel that my breath is really bad.”

Oh, how I love these patients! It takes me about 10 minutes to get a Halimeter® reading and inform them about curing their breath problem. Guess who their new dentist is?

Obviously, you have to decide what you are going to charge for this service. You are not going to make a huge profit directly from doing bad breath treatment. Don’t do this service if you think that your bottom line will improve by $100,000 a year – directly. I stress the word “directly” because you have to consider that most patients who have breath problems also have many other dental needs. It is these other dental problems that will improve your bottom line. You will get to do more dentistry for new patients that come to you for this treatment.

At my office we charge $95 (at the time this article was written) for new patients. This includes two bitewing X-rays to detect periodontal problems, a Halimeter® reading, a periodontal screening, and all of the education and products necessary to treat halitosis.

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