Personal Loans

Can You Get a Personal Loan for Dental Work?

Many dental procedures are expensive and require several treatments. A personal loan for dental work is a good way to afford what your insurance just won't cover.
A dentist shows his patient an x-ray of her teeth
Written by:
Shannon Lee
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified

Imagine waking up one day in excruciating pain in your mouth or jaw and going to the dentist to learn that you need a root canal or suffering a fall or other type of accident and ending up with teeth that are chipped or out of place.

Maybe you’ve been feeling pain and pressure in your jaw for a while, hoping that those wisdom teeth would somehow magically go away, but it’s just getting worse.

On the other hand, some dental issues can be carefully planned for, such as getting veneers on teeth that need a cosmetic makeover or getting braces to straighten them.

Either way, most people don’t have the kind of money for expensive procedures just languishing in their bank account. That’s where a personal loan for dental work comes in.

Compare Your Personal Loan Rates
Check Your Personal
Loan Rates
Choose a purpose for your loan
Always free and will not impact your credit score.

What Is a Dental Loan?

A dental loan is a personal loan that you can use for dental expenses.

Since many dental procedures are quite expensive, a personal loan can prevent you from having to dip into savings or other forms of funding.

What kind of procedures are covered?

A dental loan can be used for anything you need regarding dental work, including emergency dental care, cosmetic work, or dental work that might take several sessions to complete, such as dental implants that are not covered by insurance.

These personal loans are typically unsecured, though there might be some loans that require collateral.

Keep in mind that dental loans might not be advertised specifically for dental procedures, or might fall under the umbrella of medical loans.

Regardless of what they are called, these loans can be delivered to your bank account in one lump sum, out of which you can pay for your dental work and then pay the lender back in small monthly payments.

In some cases, dental loans are available through the dentist’s office or an associated medical center.

However, these loans often charge higher interest rates or less advantageous terms, such as requiring you to pay off the loan in a much shorter amount of time.

While you might be able to take out a personal loan for tens of thousands of dollars, most dental work and procedures, while expensive, will run much less than that.

How Does a Dental Loan Work?

A dental loan is a personal loan, which means you must follow the requirements set forth by the lender.


Many lenders, especially those who provide personal loans entirely online, allow you to prequalify for the loan. That means you provide some basic information about your finances and they will let you know how much you might qualify for.


After the prequalification, you can continue with the loan application by providing more in-depth information and documentation, such as paycheck stubs or bank statements.

Credit Check

Most lenders will look at a variety of factors to determine how much money you qualify for and the rates and terms of your loan. They might look at your credit score, your employment history and income, your debt-to-income ratio, and other financial considerations.

Loan Terms

They will then let you know the terms, which includes how much you can borrow, the interest you will be charged, when the money will hit your account, when the repayment begins, and how long you have to pay off the loan.

Some lenders will allow you to pay off the loan early, while others will charge a penalty if you do.

Remember that you don’t have to take out the entire amount you qualify for; if you take out only what you need, it might even improve your chances of getting another loan through the same lender in the future.

Keep Your Options Open

Also keep in mind that if one lender rejects your application, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck.

Some lenders place a heavy weight on your credit score, while others look at your finances in a more holistic way and are willing to take a chance on those who have a lower credit score.

Who Is a Dental Loan Good For?

A dental loan can be used for almost anything that has to do with dental procedures.

Why would someone choose a dental procedure that is expensive enough to require a loan? Consider these scenarios:

  • You’ve been in pain for weeks and need a root canal to return to your normal quality of life.
  • You’re on the job market and want to look your best. Veneers can help improve your smile.
  • You suffered a serious accident involving your teeth and need emergency work.
  • Your wisdom teeth are impacted and beginning to cause a great deal of pain.
  • You need braces to straighten your teeth or correct your bite so that you not only look better but feel better too.
  • You have a problem with your teeth or gums that will require the removal of several teeth. You can replace those teeth with dental implants or dentures.

These are just a few of the scenarios that might lead you to consider a dental loan, especially since most of the procedures are going to be rather expensive.

Cost of Dental Procedures

Below we list the average costs of some of the more common dental procedures you might need but your insurance won’t cover.

Keep in mind that the prices might be different depending on your location, how extensive the dental work is, and other factors that might be unique to your individual situation, such as underlying conditions.

How to Choose the Best Dental Loan

How do you know which personal loan for dental work might be the best for you?

There are many lenders out there vying for your business and thus they offer quite competitive rates and terms. Here’s what you should look for to truly compare the options available to you and choose the one that makes the most sense.

The Interest Rate

This is one of the most important points to consider, as it determines how much you really owe when you pay back that loan.

As you compare dental loans, look for the best personal loans that offer a low interest rate, but remember that sometimes fees can be high enough to offset the savings of a lower rate.


Fees might include origination fees (which are at least 1% of the loan amount but often much more), early payment penalties, and fees for late payments or returned payments.

Income Requirements

Some lenders are open to accepting borrowers who have lower incomes, especially if they have a very low debt-to-income ratio.

If you have a great deal of debt as well as a lower income, you might have a tough time finding an affordable loan.

Credit Score Requirements

Many lenders have minimum credit score requirements.

If you have a credit score lower than their set minimum, they won’t even consider you. Other lenders are more flexible, taking a holistic view of your finances to determine if you are a good loan candidate.

Time to Funding

If you need the money for an emergency, this point matters a great deal.

Some lenders take only a day to send the money to your account once your loan application is approved, while others take up to a week or so.

Repayment Terms

How long will you have to pay back the loan? A longer term means that your monthly payments are lower but you might wind up paying more interest over time.

Look for a monthly amount you can comfortably afford. If you choose to repay it sooner, make sure your lender doesn’t charge a penalty for an early payoff.

What to Do If You Can’t Get a Dental Loan

What happens if you need a dental loan but can’t qualify for one?

In many cases, dental work must be done before the situation gets any worse. If you can’t get the dental loan you need, consider these options:

Make a Payment Plan

In some cases, your dentist will be willing to offer a payment plan.

This might mean a little money up-front, another amount around the time of the procedure, and the final payment right after the procedure is complete.

You might be able to set this up automatically on a credit card or with bank withdrawals so the dentist is comfortable with proceeding.

Negotiate the Price

If you are paying in cash, a dentist’s office is more likely to give you a nice discount.

This is especially true if you are an established patient who has always paid on time for any other procedures or even just for the semi-annual cleanings.

Turn to Your Health Savings Plan

If you have a health savings plan or HSA through work, you can use those funds to pay for dental procedures.

If you have a good amount of money in there already, great. If not, and you want a dental procedure that can wait until you save the money, start putting cash away in the HSA. There could be tax benefits as well.

Look to Local Dental Schools

Dentists have to learn their trade somewhere, and that means performing dental procedures while under the close supervision of licensed dentists.

If you are fortunate enough to have a dental school in your area, you might be able to get procedures done at a discounted cost, or even for free.

Consider State-Sponsored Dental Insurance

If you live in a low-income household or your income falls below a certain threshold, you might qualify for state-sponsored dental insurance.

Check with your state’s department of health and human services to find out what options might be available for you.

Keep in mind that this option might help cover emergency and necessary procedures but almost certainly won’t cover elective cosmetic options.

Look Into Crowdfunding

Many crowdfunding platforms offer an opportunity for others to pitch in to help you pay for medical or dental bills.

Keep in mind that others will be much more likely to help if your appeal is for a dental procedure that must happen for your good health — such as a root canal — and less likely to help if you want to do something cosmetic.

Open a Savings Account

Start putting money away every month.

A high-yield savings account can offer you some interest to help your money grow.

This works well for procedures that can wait a while, such as cosmetic fixes.

Put It on a Credit Card

Though this is not usually recommended unless you can pay it off in full during the grace period and thus avoid the high interest rates, if you absolutely must have dental work done, this could be an option that works for you.

If you can get a credit card that offers 18 months of no interest, that could be an excellent way to get what you need to have done and then pay it off during that interest-free period.

Loans From Family or Friends

This isn’t a good option, because loans among friends or even family can lead to resentment, upset, and even lawsuits.

But if you are truly in pain and must have a procedure done quickly, friends and family members will often be willing to step up and help you.

Dental Loan FAQs

What is the interest rate on dental financing?

That depends on the lender. Some lenders offer a rate as low as 3.99%, which is much lower than many credit card companies charge. Others might go up to almost 30% interest rates, which actually makes a credit card look like a great option.

Always be certain of what your interest rate will be before you accept a loan, and never hesitate to shop around.

What credit score do you need to get a dental loan?

Most lenders don’t publish the minimum credit score they require, but some reviews of lending companies show that a credit score of about 650 is typically the lowest score that will allow you to get a loan. If you are looking for a higher loan amount or better terms, you might need a score of 750 or higher.

What if I can’t get a high enough loan amount to cover my dental expenses?

In some cases, you might get a small loan that doesn’t cover everything you need. That loan could be used to supplement the money you have already saved for the procedure, or it could serve as a down payment.

Can I change my mind about the personal loan?

That depends. Some lenders allow a short grace period during which time you can choose to not go through with the loan. This is often a short period of time, such as 48 or 72 hours, right after your application is approved.

Some lenders, however, don’t allow you to back out of a loan. Check with the lender before you submit the application.