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📅 Last Updated: January 16, 2024
✏️ Written By Lisa Rennie
🕵️ Fact-Checked by Caitlin Wood

Dental work can be downright expensive and can often be way out of our price range. Some people simply refuse to seek treatment because they know they can’t cover the price tag. But the thing is, sometimes dental work is necessary for good health or to alleviate any acute pain or discomfort. And if your bank account isn’t adequate enough to cover the cost of a trip to the dentist, you can consider dental financing options in Canada.

Dental Financing In Canada

Canadians are fortunate in that they don’t have to pay out-of-pocket to see a doctor when a medical need arises. But that’s not the case with visits to the dentist. 

Yearly Average Spent on Dental Services In Canada

It’s estimated that the average amount spent on dental services on a per capita basis every year is $378.60 per Canadian. And if there is any major dental work required, that number can easily and quickly skyrocket. Add several household members to the total, and the dollar figure can be too much for some Canadian families to handle. 

Importance Of Dental Loans In Canada

While many Canadians are fortunate enough to have a large portion of their dental visit costs covered by employment insurance plans, many others are left to pay for these visits on their own. Unfortunately due to the high cost of seeking dental care, 1 out of 6 Canadians who have a dental need do not visit a dentist due to financial reasons, according to the Canadian Dental Association.

As a result, lower-income Canadians tend to experience more oral health problems than the general public. More specifically, 47% of lower-income Canadians had a dental need identified. That’s nearly twice the amount of higher-income Canadians. With finances being a clear hindrance to proper dental care, dental financing can be a solution.

How Does Dental Financing Work?

Dental loans are specific types of financing products that are designed to cover the cost of dental work, including surgery and other procedures. When applying for this type of loan, you’ll request a specific loan amount required to pay for any dental work you need. 

Dental financing is typically not collateralized, which means there is nothing of value that is used to back the loan in case you are no longer able to make payments. Instead, lenders who provide such loans depend on factors such as your credit score, income, assets, and most recent financial activity to determine what type of borrower you would be.  

If you are approved, the funds will be deposited into your bank account for you to use to pay your dentist or another dental specialist. In order to repay the loan, you’ll need to make timely payments according to a specific payment schedule – whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly – and all funds must be paid back in full by a specific due date. 

What Are Your Dental Financing Options?

If you need some financial assistance to pay for dental work needed, you have certain options, including the following:

Personal Loans For Dental Financing

You may be able to take out a personal loan to pay for your dental work. These loans are generally unsecured, which means no collateral is needed for this type of loan. The interest rate and the loan amount you may be eligible for will depend on the strength of your credit and financial health. Personal loans are paid back in installments until the full loan amount – plus interest – is repaid. 

Dental In-House Financing

Many dental offices provide financing programs that allow you to take out financing directly through your dentist. Many of these programs are interest-free, at least for a specific period of time, after which interest may be charged. Dental work that is more on the expensive side is more likely to come with the option to finance, such as braces or dental implants.

Specialized Dental Loan

There are certain types of loans that are designed for medical procedures, including dental work. Procedures that are not covered by your provincial health care may be eligible for specialized dental financing. Many of these types of loan programs are also applicable to cosmetic procedures that fall under the scope of dental work. You’ll need to work with specific lenders who offer these types of unique loans.

Finance Your Dental Work With A Line Of Credit

A line of credit is similar to a personal loan, but instead of getting a lump sum of money to pay for your dental work, you’ll have access to a credit line that you can withdraw funds from as needed, and you’ll only be charged interest on the amount taken out. 

Learn more about your loan options in Canada.

What Type Of Procedures Can You Pay For With Dental Financing?

No dental treatment is off-limits when it comes to how you choose to use the funds from a dental loan. Whatever your dental need may be, dental financing can help you cover these expensive bills. Here are just some of the dental procedures you can pay for with dental financing:

  • Regular dental checkups
  • Dental cleaning
  • Cosmetic dental work
  • Root canals
  • Dentures
  • Dental implants
  • Braces
  • Emergency dental work
  • Fluoride
  • Fillings
  • Mouthguards
  • Crowns
  • Retainers
  • Invisalign 
  • Veneers
  • Tooth repair

Thinking of getting dental insurance, check out some of Canada’s best dental insurance providers.

How Much Do Common Dental Procedures Cost?

There are so many different types of dental procedures available, and the cost associated with each varies quite a bit. Further, the same procedure may also vary based on location and dentist. That said, the following is a list of some of the more common dental procedures and the average cost for each:

Braces$5,000 – $6,000
Root canals$300 – $2,000 per tooth, depending on the exact type of tooth
Porcelain veneers $900 – $2,500 per tooth
Wisdom tooth removal$75 – $600 per extracted tooth
Dental implants $1,000 – $3,000 per tooth
Full-mouth implants$24,000 – $100,000
Dentures $1,000 – $8,000

How To Choose The Best Dental Loan

1. How Fast Do You Need The Money?

If there’s no rush for the dental work you plan to get then you’ve got time to arrange for financing. But in the event of a dental emergency — such as an accident that has severely damaged your teeth — you’ll need the cash right away to pay for the dental bill. Some lenders will give you the borrowed funds on the same day you apply. Other lenders might take a few days to extend the money. Make sure you compare lenders to find one that offers fast turnaround times if you are in urgent need of cash.

2. How Much Money Do You Need?

Dental work ranges quite a bit in cost. Different lenders have their own minimum and maximum loan amounts that they extend to borrowers. So be sure to find out what these limits are before applying for a dental loan.

3. Do The Monthly Payments Fit Your Budget?

A dental loan will require that you repay the full loan amount in regular installments. Make sure these monthly payments fit well within your budget before applying. .

4. What Interest Rate Are You Being Offered?

The interest rate you’re charged will have a significant impact on what you’ll owe the lender when all is said and done. A lower rate is ideal as it will lower your monthly payments. It’ll also lower the overall amount you will have to repay by the end of the loan term. As such, it’s important to compare lenders and the interest rates they offer based on your credit and financial profile.

Alternative Ways To Finance Your Dental Costs

While dental loans can be a great help when your bank account can’t support an expensive dental work bill, there are other ways to cover these costs.

Cover Your Dental Work With A Credit Card

If you have a credit card, you may be able to put your dental costs on it. Just keep in mind that spending a lot on your credit card could negatively impact your credit score. This is because you’d be increasing your credit utilization ratio. Further, credit card debt can be difficult to climb out of due to the high-interest rates.

0% APR Credit Card 

As a means to entice new credit card applicants, many credit card issuers offer 0% APR for certain credit cards. These credit cards offer an introductory APR of 0% for a specific time period, which means you won’t have to pay any interest on any charges you make or balances you carry. 

You can apply for a card that offers this introductory rate right before your planned dental work and charge the procedure to your new credit card. As long as you pay off that balance before the 0% APR introductory period ends, you can essentially finance the work with no interest, which is not something you’d usually get with a typical loan. 


An overdraft happens when your bank account doesn’t have sufficient funds to cover a withdrawal or transaction. In this case, the bank allows the transaction to take place anyway, up to a certain amount and charges an overdraft fee. 

If the cost of your dental work is less than your overdraft limit, you might want to withdraw the amount needed to pay your dental bill, then pay it back at a fixed interest rate.

Ask Family And Friends

Your family members or friends might be willing to loan you the money needed to pay for your upcoming dental work. If you take this route, however, be sure to establish some ground rules in terms of how and when the funds are to be repaid.

Some people might not be too concerned about when — or even if — they’re ever repaid, while others might want the funds returned by a specific date. And in some cases, a contract can be drafted that may even include an interest rate charged on top of the loaned funds. 

Find Less Expensive Care

Different dentists might have their own price list, which means you may be able to get the same dental work done more affordably, depending on the dentist you choose. You’ll be more likely to find a dentist with better prices outside of city centres, so consider commuting a little to get a cheaper price tag on your dental work. 

That said, the cost of dental work can vary even among dentists within the same area. Take some time to call around and inquire about prices for the dental work you need. 

Check Your City or Province For Dental Financial Assistance

Depending on your income and financial status, you may qualify for some form of financial assistance from your local or provincial government. These programs offer heavily discounted or free dental work for those who are eligible, including low-income Indigenous individuals, disabled, elderly, and children. Generally speaking, only basic dental care and preventative services are covered.

In Ontario, for example, the Healthy Smiles Ontario program offers free dental services to children under 17 years of age, including dental exams, preventive care, and emergency dental services.

Dental Loan FAQs

Do dentists offer financing in Canada?

Yes, some dentists offer financing plans, particularly those who provide cosmetic work. This type of financing may be directly available from the dentist or from a lender that the dentist is partnered with.

Can I finance my dental costs with a loan if I have bad credit? 

Yes, bad credit dental loans are available. You don’t need a good credit score to qualify, but you may be charged a higher interest rate to offset the lender’s risk. 

Can I get a dental loan without interest? 

You may be able to find some lenders who provide 0% dental financing, particularly through dental offices that offer their own in-house financing. That said, you’ll probably need good credit to qualify for an interest-free dental loan. 

Do dental loans cover all dental procedures?

Yes, in most cases, dental loans cover every type of dental work, as long as the services are provided by a reputable dental professional.

The Bottom Line

Dental work is costly, but depending on the type of work involved, dental care is essential to overall health. Given the high cost, dental financing may be required for many Canadians who may not have the financial means to cover these expenses. Luckily, there are several types of dental financing available to suit various financial profiles, so there’s no need to let these costs get in the way of maintaining good oral health.

Caitlin Wood Priyanka Correia Lisa Rennie Bryan Daly Cris Ravazzano Margaret Johnson Kale Havervold Liz Enriquez Sean Cooper Veronica Ott Corrina Murdoch Chrissy Kapralos

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