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7 dental financing options to pay for dental work

Explore dental loans in Canada to keep your costs low.

While dental work is a basic necessity, it doesn’t come cheap. Without insurance, you may need to apply for dental financing in Canada to cover your costs, especially if you need urgent care. Keep reading to learn more about the different ways you can qualify for dental financing, even with bad credit.

1. Get a dental personal loan

How it works

You can get secured or unsecured personal loans from a bank, credit union, online lender or peer-to-peer lending site. Compare and apply for pre-approval with multiple lenders to find the best dental financing, then pick the lender you like best and fill out an application. Your money should be deposited within 24 hours with many online lenders.

Pros

  • There are dozens of lenders to choose from.
  • You can use a broker to compare rates to find the best deal.
  • It’s possible to secure your loan with an asset or enlist a cosigner to increase your chances of approval.

Cons

  • Interest rates are typically very high if you have bad credit.
  • Lenders may have strict eligibility requirements (for example, minimum income criteria).
  • Loans can come with additional fees.
  • You may run into fraudulent lenders if shopping online, especially if it’s for dental financing for bad credit in Canada.

Competitive Rates

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Low interest rates
  • Options for all credit scores
  • Fast application
  • Quotes from multiple lenders
  • Pre-approval in five minutes
  • Low interest rates
  • Funds in as little as 24 hours

Flexible Terms

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All credit scores
  • Accepts bad credit borrowers
  • Easy online application
  • Quotes from multiple lenders
  • Access cash within 1-3 business days
  • High loan amounts of up to $50,000

Fast Financing

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No prepayment fees
  • Accepts bad credit borrowers
  • Same day funding
  • 100% online
  • No hidden fees
  • No prepayment fees
  • Established lender

2. Get in-house dental financing

How it works

Some dentist’s offices provide in-house financing directly to patients, usually through a third-party provider like PayBright. Just fill out an application directly with the suggested lender to see if you qualify. Upon approval, they will usually transfer funds directly to your dentist to cover the cost of your treatment.

Pros

  • Easy application process.
  • Loan is tied to your dentist’s office so they can sometimes process payments directly.
  • You may be able to negotiate lower prices with your dentist if they know you’re on a payment plan.
  • The lender may be more likely to approve you given the established relationship with your dentist.
  • Get 0% or low interest financing.

Cons

  • It’s not possible to compare lenders to find the best rates.
  • You may not get approved for dental financing with bad credit in Canada.
  • You might not get approved if you have bad credit.

Do dentists do payment plans in Canada?

Yes, dentists can let you pay for dental work in installments. Some dentists are also open to giving you a lower rate if you don’t have insurance.


3. Visit a low-cost dental clinic

How it works

Many universities across Canada operate student-run dental clinics, which provide lower cost dental services than regular clinics. These university clinics help dental students learn how to do work on real patients, typically with their instructors present. You may also be able to find a regular clinic that offers discounts for children, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples or people with low incomes.

Pros

  • University clinics are often much cheaper than regular clinics.
  • It takes less time to save up for a procedure.
  • It’s less likely that you’ll need dental financing to cover your costs, which means you won’t pay high interest rates.

Cons

  • There might not be a low-cost dental clinic near you or it can be far away.
  • The work you get could take more time with university clinics since the student needs to be supervised.
  • These clinics may also not be equipped to do more complex procedures.
  • You’ll have to meet eligibility criteria to qualify for discounts with regular clinics.
LocationList of clinics
Toronto, OntarioFaculty of Dentistry at the University of Toronto, Regent Park Community Centre, West End Oral Health Centre and more.

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Ottawa, OntarioAlgonquin College Dental Clinic, Canadian National Institute of Health (dental hygiene), La Cité Dental Clinic, The Ottawa Hospital Civic Campus, Healthy Smiles Ontario and more.

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Winnipeg, MBAccess Downtown, Deer Lodge Centre, Home Dental Care Program, Mount Carmel Clinic, Winnipeg Children’s Dental Clinic, S.M.I.L.E. Plus Program and more.

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Regina, SKSaskatchewan Polytech’s Dental Clinic, Signature Smiles (for seniors).

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Edmonton, ABUniversity of Alberta School of Dentistry Patient Clinics, Boyle McCauley Health Centre and more. You can also apply for assistance with various provincial programs.

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Calgary, ABCalgary Urban Project Society (CUPS), Alex Dental Health Bus, Alberta Children’s Hospital and more. You can also apply for assistance with various provincial programs.

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Vancouver, BCUBC Orthodontics, UBC General Dentistry and UBC Emergency Clinic, Vancouver Public Health Children’s Dental Program, Strathcona Community Dental Clinic, Reach Dental Clinic, Mid-Main Dental and more.

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Victoria/Sidney, BCCamosun College Dental Clinic (dental hygiene), Cool Aid Community Health Centre Dental Clinic, O.R.C.C.A. Dental Clinic Society.

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Montreal, QCJim Lund Dental Clinic, Alpha Seaforth Clinique Dentaire.

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Halifax, NSDalhousie Dentistry School. You can also apply for assistance with various provincial programs.

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Saint John’s, NLApply for provincial subsidies to get discounts with select dentists.
Saint John, NBApply for provincial subsidies to get discounts with select dentists.
Charlottetown, PEIApply for provincial subsidies to get discounts with select dentists.

4. Apply for specialized dental loans

How it works

You may be able to get specialized dental loans with services such as Dentalcard. They will approve you for a loan and pay your dentist’s office directly, and then you pay them back with monthly payments. Your dentist needs to be a member of the Dentalcard network in order for you to participate.

Pros

  • The loan is tied to your dentist’s office so they can process payments directly.
  • You may be able to negotiate lower prices with your dentist if they know you’re on a payment plan.
  • The lender may be more likely to approve you given the established relationship with your dentist.

Cons

  • It’s not possible to compare lenders to find the best rates.
  • The rates for services like Dentalcard can be on the high side.
  • You may not get approved with bad credit.
  • The money you borrow will go directly to your dentist so this may not be a good option if you need to borrow additional funds for other purposes.

5. Finance dental work using a line of credit

How it works

Lines of credit give you a revolving pool of funds to draw from. Only borrow and pay interest on what you need, and keep the rest as an emergency fund. As you make repayments, the money becomes available for you to borrow again. Having a line of credit pre-approved for emergencies can be a lifesaver in a dental emergency, especially if you need to fund follow-up care.

Pros

  • You can access financing quickly if the line of credit is set up in advance.
  • The repayments you make will increase the amount of money available for future emergencies.
  • You only pay interest on the amount you borrow (not on how much your line of credit is worth).

Cons

  • Interest rates can be high if you have bad credit.
  • Lenders may have strict eligibility requirements (for example, minimum income criteria).
  • Having cash readily available may increase the temptation for you to make purchases you don’t need.

6. Get dental financing using a low-interest credit card

How it works

You can apply for a low interest credit card to cover the cost of your dental work. These cards usually come with 8.99% to 12.99% interest and most have a low annual fee between $25 and $35. Use your card for dental financing and then pay it back on your own schedule.

Pros

  • These cards may come with lower interest rates than other types of dental financing.
  • The annual fees for low interest cards are low.
  • You may qualify for a 0% intro offer that could lower your costs even further.

Cons

  • You may get a lower credit limit than you need.
  • It could be difficult to qualify for this type of dental financing with bad credit in Canada.
  • It takes time to apply for a credit card and receive it in the mail (if you don’t already have one).

7. Get financing through a government-funded dental program

How it works

Government-funded dental programs can help to subsidize the cost of dental care. Your eligibility for the program may be automatic in some cases, or you might be required to apply online or by mail to be considered. Common programs include subsidized funding for children, people with disabilities, veterans, elderly people, Indigenous peoples and adults without private dental plan coverage.

Pros

  • It helps to subsidize dental work so that it’s more affordable.
  • Funds are reserved for people who really need them.
  • It’s easy to fill out an application online.

Cons

  • It takes time to apply and there are often long wait times to see if you qualify.
  • Subsidies will not cover all of your treatment costs.
  • It may be difficult to qualify if you don’t belong to one of the serviced groups eligible for funds (for example, children, persons with disabilities, etc).

Canada Dental Benefit and Canadian Dental Care Plan

The Canada Dental Benefit (CDB), which launched on December 1, 2022, is a short-term initiative offered by the Government of Canada to help pay for children’s dental care. This benefit will pay out $650 a year (tax-free!) for the next 2 years for eligible children under the age of 12 to receive dental services.

The benefit you get will be based on your income and must be used for dental work. You’ll need to keep your receipts and input information about your child’s dentist and appointment date when you fill out the application.

You can apply for this benefit until June 30, 2024.

The other dental coverage program, the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP), launched in December 2023 and is available to seniors aged 65 and over. However, starting on June 27, 2024, applications will open for children under 18 as well as adults between 18-64 years old with a valid disability tax credit.

This program covers a wide range of oral health care services. The government will give back to you a percentage of the cost based on CDCP fees and your family income.

Eligibility requirements of dental financing

Eligibility criteria

Most loans for dental financing in Canada will require you to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who is the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Have proof of address, be employed full time and have a steady income.
  • Meet credit score and income requirements, as outlined by your lender.
  • Not have a recent bankruptcy or consumer proposal on your credit report.

Required documents

To apply for dental financing in Canada, you may need the following documents:

  • Identity documents. Personal identification such as your passport or driver’s licence.
  • Proof of income. Pay stubs, employment records, tax records, proof of government benefits (such as EI) or other documents.
  • Debt-to-asset ratio. Lists of assets and debts to make sure you can qualify for funding.
  • Credit score. Consent for your lender to run a credit check.

Can you get dental financing with bad credit in Canada?

Yes, you can get dental financing for bad credit in Canada. But be prepared to pay much higher interest rates and fees. You may also need to work a bit harder to find a lender willing to finance you, depending on how low your score is. Start by comparing the best loans for bad credit or apply with a loan broker to get multiple offers from bad credit lenders.

If you want to increase your chances of approval, you can also consider securing your loan with an asset or asking a friend or family member to cosign your loan with you.

Can you get dental financing with no credit check?

In Canada, the majority of personal loan lenders will check your credit report and score, even if they offer dental financing for bad credit in Canada. No credit check lenders do exist, but they’re usually payday lenders. In any case, expect to see higher interest rates and fees with lenders offering no credit check because of the additional risk they need to take on to finance you.

Questions to ask to get the best dental loan in Canada

Consider these questions when looking for the best dental financing in Canada:

  • What’s my credit score? Check the eligibility criteria for lenders and make sure your credit score is above their minimum. Some lenders will require you to have a good to excellent credit score, which is usually over 660, while others will provide dental financing for bad credit in Canada no matter your score.
  • What repayments can I afford? You should be able to work out a rough idea of what your repayments will be based on the loan’s interest rate and ongoing fees. Make sure your monthly payments will work for your budget, and aim for a longer term if you need to make your payments more affordable.
  • How much do I need to borrow? Find a lender that offers the amount you need at a price you can afford. The best way to see the amount you qualify for, with your particular income and credit history, is to apply for pre-approval. Only borrow what you need since you have to pay interest on any amount you borrow.
  • When do I need the money? Some online lenders can give you funds on the same day you apply or by the next business day. However, other lenders such as banks or credit unions may take longer. If you need the money in a rush, be sure to compare lenders who offer quick turnaround times.

Steps to apply for dental financing loans

Follow the steps below to apply for loans for dental financing in Canada.

  1. Apply for pre-approval. Apply for personal loan pre-approval with a few lenders to find the best deal. Provide personal info such as your name, address, phone number, email, employment, income and housing situation.
  2. Pick the best personal loan. Compare the offers you get back from lenders and choose the one with the lowest rates and the best terms for your situation (consider details such as the amount you can borrow, what your repayments will be, length of term, fees, etc). Learn more about low interest loans.
  3. Proceed with your top choice. Unless you opted for bank verification, you may need to submit loan documents such as your ID, SIN, proof of income and employment, and banking information at this point.
  4. Submit to a credit check. You may need to consent to a credit check with some lenders. A hard credit check can affect your credit score and should be done sparingly. Some lenders only require a soft credit check which has no impact on your score.
  5. Get a final loan offer. Once your lender agrees to a final amount, you’ll receive your loan contract. Review it carefully and make sure you understand the terms and conditions, and the full cost of your loan.
  6. Sign and submit. If you’re happy, sign and submit your loan agreement. You’ll usually get your money via e-transfer or direct deposit. If you’re applying for in-house or specialized dental financing, your lender may pay your dentist directly.

What procedures do dental loans pay for?

You can use dental financing in Canada for any procedure you need. The price you pay will depend on which province you live in and which dentist you use. Every province has its own dental fee guide to help dentists figure out how much to charge for their services. This helps the province set standards for pricing, but in the end, dentists can charge whatever they want.

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Illustrative example: Standard cost of dental procedures

For the table below, we pulled pricing from the 2022 BC dental fee guide. Your true cost will depend on which province you live in and what dentist you use. Some common procedures aren’t covered under the fee guide, so we have provided the average cost, based on our own research.

ProcedureCost of services
Intake exam$60 to $119
Returning customer exam$40 to $60
X-rays$108
Teeth cleaning (including fluoride)$75 to $250 (depending on units of scaling)
Root canals$570
Tooth extractions$161 to $272 per tooth
Tooth repair$147 per tooth
Root planing (for gum disease)$50 to $200
Cavity filling$129 to $158 per tooth
Crowns$949 per tooth

Common costs for other procedures

ProcedureCost of services
Wisdom tooth removal$150 to $550 per tooth, depending on the level of impaction
DenturesBetween $2,700 and $3,200 – the cost for partial dentures will be less
Braces/retainers$7,000 to $12,000
VeneersAround $1,100 to $2,000 per tooth
BridgesA basic 3-unit bridge starts from around $2,600
Teeth whiteningIn-office cost can be anywhere from $200 to $1,000
Dental implantsCan cost anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 per tooth
InvisalignBetween $2,000-$8,000

Representative example: Dental financing in action

Susan, an elderly woman in Edmonton, takes an unexpected fall and knocks out her front tooth. She heads to her local dentist to get the tooth replaced and learns that it will cost her $2,700. She needs to take out a personal loan to help cover the costs. When Susan visits the bank to get the money she needs, she is offered the following dental financing:

Cost of tooth implant$2,700
Loan typePersonal loan
Loan amount$2,700
Interest rate (APR)10%
Loan term1 year
Additional fees$0
Monthly payment$237.37
Total loan cost$2,848.47

As you can see, Susan will pay almost $200 in interest over the course of 1 year. If her term is longer, her monthly payments will be lower but she’ll pay more interest over time.

*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.

Frequently asked questions

Written by

Claire Horwood

Claire Horwood was a writer at Finder, specializing in credit cards, loans and other financial products. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies from the University of Victoria, and an Associate’s Degree in Science from Camosun College. Much of Claire’s coursework has focused on writing and statistics, with a healthy dose of social and cultural analysis mixed in for good measure. In her spare time, Claire enjoys rock climbing, travelling and drinking inordinate amounts of coffee. See full profile

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