dentist explaining procedure with fake mouth

Dental Financing: Paying For Expensive Dental Work

7-Minute ReadJune 06, 2022


Having dental work done can be an expensive operation, even if you have dental insurance. Most plans have an annual maximum of $1,000 – $1,500, and may only cover a portion of an expensive procedure. When the average crown can cost $500 – $3,000 per tooth, you could surpass your maximum quickly in a year’s time, especially with children.
If you have or are expecting a hefty dental bill you’re not sure you can afford, you may want to consider dental financing options. This article will tell you where and how to get dental financing, as well as the necessary qualifications.

What Can You Use Dental Loans For?

Once you obtain dental financing, you can use it to pay for almost any dental procedure. Some of the more common procedures, and their average costs, include:

  • Dental implants: $3,000 – $4,500
  • Dental veneers: $925 – $2,500 (per tooth)
  • Dental crown: $500 – $3,000 (per tooth)
  • Root canal: $300 – $2,000
  • Silver amalgam fillings: $210 – $330
  • Composite resin fillings: $150 – $450
  • Teeth whitening: $300 – $1,000
  • Teeth cleaning: $75 – $200

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Options For Financing Dental Work

Whether you’re going through your dentist’s office or a third-party lender, getting dental financing may come down to your credit score. Having good or excellent credit can help you qualify for a better interest rate. When applying for any loan, it’s best to prequalify so that you can see your prospective loan’s rates and terms before committing fully to it. This may involve a soft credit check.

Let’s take a look at some financing options for those expensive dental procedures:

In-House Financing

You may be able to apply for a financing plan straight through your dentist’s office. Some clinics work directly with third-party lenders to offer payment plans for their clients, and others may handle the plans themselves.

A major benefit to in-house financing is that some dentists might not require a credit check or a down payment. Keep in mind, though, that having no credit check could imply a higher APR or fees with the loan.

Medical Credit Cards

Medical credit cards allow you to charge certain medical expenses, such as dental procedures, to them and repay the amount over time. Some cards come with a period of deferred interest where you’re not charged any interest up to a certain deadline. That interest accumulates, though, so if you can’t pay off your balance within the deferment period, you may owe all of the accrued interest on top of your next monthly payment.

Not all providers will accept medical credit cards, and not all lenders participate in the introductory deferment period. You should confirm these factors with your dental provider and card issuer before agreeing to the loan.

Personal Loan

A personal loan can have many uses, one of which can be to finance medical or dental expenses. One of the main perks of a personal loan is that they’re typically unsecured, meaning you won’t need to put up any kind of collateral – your approval can depend mainly on your creditworthiness.

To get a personal loan, start by getting a preapproval from different lenders to compare your rates. For the best personal loan rates, most lenders prefer a credit score of at least 650. Once you choose a lender, submit a full application and wait to see if you’re approved.

You can receive your money for a personal loan fairly quickly after getting approved, typically within 1 – 7 business days. Some lenders or platforms, like Rocket LoansSM, even offer same-day financing, and can get you your money the same day you’re approved.*

Taking out a personal loan will mean then being responsible for a fixed monthly payment. If your budget is already stretched thin, you may want to think about whether you can afford that extra amount every month. If not, you may want to make sure your personal finances can accommodate that additional payment before committing to a personal loan.

0% APR Credit Cards

Some credit card companies offer a 0% APR promotional period when you sign up for a new card. Similarly to a medical credit card’s deferment period, you’ll be charged zero interest for a select period of time, typically 12 – 18 months. Though you won’t have to worry about accruing interest, you can still be hit with high interest rates if you don’t repay the full loan within that promotional period. Your subsequent APR will be based on your credit score and other factors when applying for the card.

Can You Get Dental Financing With No Credit Check?

Though it can differ between providers, you can sometimes get in-house financing through your dentist’s office without a credit check. As stated above, this can lead to higher APR and interest rates for your loan. Building up your credit can open up more options for you and qualify you for more favorable rates and terms with other loans.

Personal loans, medical cards and credit cards all typically require you to undergo a hard credit pull.

Getting Dental Financing With Bad Credit

As discussed above, it’s possible to get in-house financing through your dentist without a credit check. If you have your eye on another financing option but are concerned about your credit score, it may not hurt to still get preapproved and see what rates you can qualify for. For a better chance at getting the loan you want with the rates you prefer, take steps to improve your credit score.

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Alternatives To Dental Financing

Dental loans aren’t the only way to fund expensive dental care. Before signing up for a loan, consider these alternative options:

Negotiate Your Bill

Depending on your dentist, you may be able to negotiate a more affordable price for yourself. You can use the Fair Health Consumer Database to look up the average costs of certain dental procedures in your area, as well as their out-of-network or uninsured pricing. These comparable costs could help you convince your dentist to maybe lower their original price.

If you’re uninsured, you could talk to your dentist about possible discount points, too.

Use Your Savings

If you have an emergency fund, you could dip into your savings to pay for your dental procedure. It’s no fun taking from your savings, but if the procedure’s an emergency, that’s what the fund is for.

Visit Different Dentists

Different providers may charge different prices. If you think your procedure may cost less elsewhere, try getting a quote from another dentist in your area. Shop around as many clinics as you like until you find a price that better suits your financial situation. If you have dental insurance, make sure any new provider is in your network.

Final Thoughts

If you’re concerned about those high costs of dental procedures, look into your dental financing options. It can sometimes be easiest to go directly through your dental provider, but you may qualify for better rates through third-party lenders if you have good credit. Otherwise, consider an alternative option.

Need more financing help? Learn what type of loan you’ll need for any situation. 

*Same day funding is available for clients completing the loan process and signing the Promissory Note by 1:00 p.m. ET on a business day. Also note, the ACH credit will be submitted to your bank the same business day. This may result in same day funding, but results may vary, and your bank may have rules that limit our ability to credit your account. We are not responsible for delays that may occur due to an incorrect routing number, an incorrect account number or errors of your financial institution.

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