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Best Dental Practice Loans for 2021

Starting a dental practice requires a huge amount of capital, so naturally, an aspiring dental practice owner looks for financing. However, getting a loan can be tedious, especially when you don’t know where to begin. This guide to dental practitioner loans will point the way towards applying for them and getting funded.

Financially reviewed by: Gordon Scott

At A Glance — The Small Business Administration (SBA), in 2020, recorded that over $600 billion in loans were disbursed to different small business niches, including dental practices. While there are a variety of dental practice loans on the market, finding the right loan for your dental practice can be challenging. That’s why our experts have compiled this guide of the top dental practice loans. 

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Best Business Loans for Dentists, Summarized

Today, there are many loan types available for dental professionals, and finding the best loan for your business needs is key. Below is a summary table of the top dental practice loans on the market in 2021.

Financing Need

Best Loan Type

Loan Features 

Recommended Lender

Upgrade equipment, Hire additional employees, invest in marketing strategies, invest in new and advanced technology

Merchant Cash Advance

  • Amount: Up to $500,000
  • Term: No set terms
  • Interest: One-time factor rate
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 24 hours

Fora Financial

Unexpected and miscellaneous expenses

Business line of credit

  • Min/Max loan amounts: $5,000 to $250,000
  • Repayment period: Six months to five years
  • Interest rates: 7% to 25%
  • Time to get the loan: Within 24 hours

BlueVine

Daily operations & utilities

Short-term Business loan

Term Loan Features:

  • Origination fees: Between 0% - 5%
  • Prepayment fees: Zero 
  • Maintenance fees: 0.4% - 0.42% 
  • Interest rates: 11.98% - 46.06%

OnDeck

Buying of equipment

Equipment financing

  • Loan amounts: Depends on the value of the equipment and the lender
  • Repayment period: Six months to five years
  • Interest rates: Starts from 6%
  • Time to get the loan: Within 24 hours or more

SmartBiz

Startup capital

SBA loan

  • Loan amount: Up to $5 million
  • Term: Up to 25 years
  • Interest rates: From 6% and up
  • Time to get the loan: Up to 2 weeks

Funding Circle

Covering running costs

Bank loan

  • Loan amounts: From $30,000 to $5 million
  • Repayment period: Up to 25 years
  • Interest rates: Starts at 7%
  • Time to get the loan: Two to six weeks

Square Capital

Best Dental Practice Loans Explained

In this section, we’ll explain the features of key loan types, and recommended lenders.

1. Fora Financial - Best for Merchant Cash Advance

Merchant cash advances can be very useful for the general upkeep and running of a business. Dentists who make use of this form of financing can use the money to improve, expand the business, hire new staff members, and add new technology to their offered services.

Fora Financial is highly recommended to companies wishing to access a good amount of money in a small amount of time. You can get up to $500,000 from Fora and have the money available in just 72 hours. Approval is received in only 24 hours.

There are no set terms for repaying the cash advance and if you can repay the money quickly, you’ll get rewarded with early payoff discounts. Also, there are no restrictions on use and no collateral is necessary to qualify for a merchant cash advance.

2. BlueVine - Best for Business Line of Credit

A business line of credit is like a regular credit card, you’ll have access to funds up to a certain maximum amount when you get a business line of credit loan approved. With this type of loan, you only pay interest on the funds you withdraw.


BlueVine is a top lender for small businesses, including dental professionals. With BlueVine, you don’t need to have any collateral before the funds are released.

3. OnDeck - Best for Short Term Business Loan

If you want a fast dental practice loan and wish to fill out as little paperwork as possible, a short-term loan might be the best option for you. 

Our experts recommend OnDeck for term loans. This loan provider offers fast term loans for small-business owners. OnDeck’s term loans are great for dental business owners looking to expand their practice. What’s great is that OnDeck’s fees are generally low, and you may even experience further discounts for paying early.

4. SmartBiz - Best for Equipment Financing

Equipment purchases make up a significant part of the startup costs needed for most dental practices. Naturally, equipment loans are something a lot of dental practitioners consider.

Another reason why dental practices go for equipment financing is that dentists are generally eligible for these loans. It doesn’t matter if you have bad personal credit, as the equipment you buy can be used to secure the loan. Thus, you won't need to offer any collateral. 

SmartBiz is a top SBA-approved lender, but it also provides equipment financing to dentists. SmartBiz approval rate is high and it comes with few requirements.

5. Funding Circle - Best for SBA Loan

To help boost the economy, small businesses get loan grants from approved lenders by the Small Business Administration (SBA). With SBA loans, the government endorses up to 85% of the entire loan amount. However, there are massive penalties involved if you fail to repay.

You can use the funds to cover the purchasing or development expenses, and operating funds. The fact that you’ll receive education on spending and planning makes this loan type more suited to new dentist businesses.


Funding Circle is a top approved SBA lender that provides discounts to businesses, including dental professionals. With Funding Circle, you’ll get a dedicated manager to help you effectively manage your funds.

6. Square Capital - Best for Covering Running Costs

Dentists tend to have higher success rates with bank financing. Many institutions in the US have resources and experts dedicated to meeting the exclusive needs of dentists.


Square Capital offers cash advance loans to people or businesses registered for its services. If you have or want to start a new business, it’s as easy as registering through a short application process. Then, you’ll get card machines linked to the loan account.

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What Costs are Required to Open a Dental Practice?  

Starting a New Dental Practice

If you want to start your practice from scratch, you might want to go for a graduated loan. Usually, these types of loans begin with interest-only or low payments that restrict your expenditures during the opening phase and initial construction. In this case, lenders might release the fund disbursements over time, by paying your contractors progressively. This can reduce the amount of interest you need to pay.

Buying an Existing Dental Practice

Buying an existing dental practice instead of building one from scratch has its pros and cons in terms of cost.You will likely need to look for a loan such as dental practice financing that will cover equipment upgrades or renovations plus the purchase price.

Working Capital Financing

If you have a practice that is already up and running, you might need help sustaining cash flow especially during a slow business period. An online lender that gives quick funds may be your best option because it will provide you with quick access to cash.

Dental Equipment Financing

Dental equipment financing might be easier to get than dental practice loans because you can use other equipment as collateral for the loan. Unlike small business loans, dental equipment loans might not be amortized. This means that the loan amount comes with the financing charge. This means that paying off the loan before due time won’t save you money as the interest doesn’t accrue over time. 

Dental Software Financing

Software purchase and licensing needs for your dental business can grow over time - anywhere between hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. As your practice grows, your technology needs might change. You may also need funds to teach staff how to use the new software.

How to Meet the Requirements for Dental Practice Financing?

Lenders have their own set of underwriting requirements. These requirements can differ according to the sort of financing you are after and what you plan to do with the money. If you are after significant funding to buy, start or expand a business you could be required to:

  • Create a business entity, including a limited liability corporation or company
  • Make a business plan that you can show the lender if you are starting or purchasing a new practice
  • Have a solid record of paying personal debts in a timely way. A personal credit score of around 720 or more can be essential for accessing good rates, however, you can access some financing with a lower credit score. 

Many dentists have several hundred thousand dollars in student loans as dental school is costly. Such loans may influence your capacity to qualify for financing with a business lender. Yet, lenders that have experience working with dentists know that having a dental school loan is the norm. As such they often overlook the loan balance and pay attention to your payment history instead. 

Ensuring that you have a history of paying your bills off on time and making sure that you have enough money to deal with short-term emergencies, can help you qualify for a dental practice loan. If you have a strong financial record, you could qualify for a large equipment or dental practice loan without laying down any money or an origination payment. 

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Can You Qualify for Dental Practice or Equipment Financing with Bad Credit?

Personal credit can influence your eligibility for a dental practice loan. Yet, bad credit will not put you out of the game entirely - it depends on the particular lender you choose and on the specific reasons behind your bad credit. 

 You may wish to explore ways to better your credit prior to applying for a loan. Then, after bettering your credit and business’s finances, you could qualify for a loan with a lower rate. You may then be able to use the money to refinance your debt. 

If you require capital fast, merchant cash advance or business credit cards from an alternative lender could be a good avenue to explore. However, you will pay more in interest (you can however pay your credit card balance before you need to pay interest).

How Many Years Will You Have to Finance Dental Equipment?

The repayment conditions of your loan can differ according to the sort of financing you are using to buy equipment. If you choose to apply for a dental equipment loan, you may have several months - 10 years to pay back the loan. Yet, bigger practice loans, specifically those that will cover equipment and commercial real estate, may come with extended loan terms of as many as 15 -25 years. 

The longer your terms of repayment, the lower your payments per month will be. However, a longer term also adds up to more interest, which could increase your cost of financing. Certain lenders will let you repay a loan early, without having to pay a prepayment fee. However, longer-term loans may come with a higher interest rate.

See Our Additional Guides on Industry-Specific Loans

Bottom Line

There is no need to struggle when you’re looking for dental practice financing because there are a lot of options to choose from. The secret is to know which loan type and loan provider will  work best for you. In this guide we have provided you with the information you need to find the right dental practice loan for your business.