Business Loans for Dentists

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Dental Practice Loans

Small Business Financing for Dental Practice

Whether you’ve just finished dental school, have been practicing for many years but looking to start out on your own, or are looking to expand an already successful dental practice, the financial side of building your dental practice can be daunting. While dental practices typically have high revenue, it’s not always easy to keep enough working capital that you can grow your business. Fortunately, the fact that dentists typically have a high income often makes you a more appealing candidate to lend to, so a dental practice business loan may be just what you need to take the next step with your business.

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How does a dental practice business loan work?

A dental practice business loan is any financing that can help dental professionals, of all levels, cover costs related to their dental practice whether that be acquisition, expansion, or equipment costs.

How a dental practice business loan works will depend on the type of financing you choose and the lender you decide to work with. Most options will mean receiving a lump sum which you are then required to pay back over time with interest, and others will provide you with a credit line from which you can draw funds as and when you need them, paying interest on what you use.

Where to find loans for dentists

Funding Circle

Funding Circle

Funding: Borrow $25,000 to $200,000
Minimum Credit Score: 700
Loan term: 6-12 months
Funding turnaround: 24-48 hours

Funding Circle offers affordable business loans with interest rates lower than alternative lenders with monthly repayment schedules for borrowers with good to excellent credit scores.

SBA 7a

SBA 7(a) loan

Funding: Borrow up to $5,000,000
Minimum Credit Score: 650
Best For: SBA loans
Funding turnaround: Varies.

The SBA 7(a) program features lenders such as Wells Fargo in their network and provides capped interest rates and long repayment term flexibility. Term loans and lines of credit access available. Typically, collateral will be required with a personal guarantee. Funding times vary and may be longer than most other lenders.

What can dental practice financing be used for?

There are several things that dental practice financing can be used for, including:

  • Starting a new dental practice
  • Purchasing a dental practice
  • Refurbishing your current practice
  • Financing equipment purchases or upgrades
  • Expanding working capital
  • Keeping up with software requirements for a dental office
  • Bringing on new team members

How much does it cost to start a dental practice?

As you can imagine, the costs needed to start a dental practice are high, ranging from around $350,000 to $550,000, though it largely depends on how you go about acquiring your practice and equipment.

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What are the different types of dental practice financing?

When you are looking to acquire dental practice financing, there are several different funding options available.

Online Business Loans

If you are looking to obtain dental practice financing quickly to cover sudden expenses, your best option is likely to be a short- or medium-term online business loan.

With this type of dental practice financing, you will be able to get approved for financing in as little as one working day, after a quick application process. However, these loans tend to be expensive due to high-interest rates (starting at 10%) and short repayment periods of 3-months to 5-years.

Online lenders typically offer loan amounts ranging from as little as $2,500 up to $250,000 and you may even be able to qualify with bad personal credit.

Bank Loans

Although bank loans are difficult for many small business owners to acquire, it is evident that dentists are often successful with obtaining financing from banks. You will even find that there are some banks that offer specific loans to owners of dental practices, partnering with the American Dental Association and the like, to provide special member offers.

Bank loan amounts can range anywhere between $30,000 and $5 million, depending on what you intend to use the financing for, with repayment terms of up to 25-years, and interest rates starting at 7%.

The terms you will be able to qualify for depends largely on your business plan, financial situation, and your credit score. If you are able to qualify, a bank loan is likely to be your best option, but be aware that it can take anywhere up to 8 weeks to receive your funding.

SBA Loans

Potentially the most desirable dental practice business loan type is those backed by the Small Business Association, known as SBA loans.

The government guarantees up to 85% of the loan so that there is minimal risk to the lender, should you be unable to make repayments. For this reason, SBA loans tend to come with higher loan amounts, often between $5,000 and $5 million, and with lower interest rates.

The best SBA loan for dental practice financing is the 7(a) loan program as, along with the desirable terms, you are flexible with what you can do with the funds. Repayment terms range from 5-years up to 25-years for real estate purchases.

Be aware that the application process is strict and there is a lot of competition between small businesses. Should you be successful, you can expect to wait between 3 weeks and 3 months to receive financing.

Business Line of Credit

If you aren’t sure how much financing you need or exactly when you will need the financing, a business line of credit will be a good option for you, and you can get approval in as little as one working day.

This type of financing provides you with a credit limit that you can use as and when you need, only paying interest on what you actually use. When you repay the amount you have borrowed, you can usually use those funds over and over again, as long as you don’t exceed the credit limit, until the line of credit is closed.

Business lines of credit typically come between $10,000 and $1 million with repayment terms of 6-months to 5-years with interest rates ranging from 7% to 25%.

Equipment Financing

If you are simply looking to cover the costs of purchasing or upgrading dental practice equipment, you can apply for equipment financing.

This will be an option for you even if you have bad credit as the equipment itself acts as collateral. This means that, should you be able to make repayments, the equipment financing company will seize the equipment and liquidate it to get their money back.

Bear in mind that you will probably be required to make a down payment of 10% or 20% of the total cost of your equipment.

The amount of financing you can get will depend on the cost of the equipment as well as the lender, and you may be able to receive this financing in just one day.

Interest rates for equipment financing start at 6% with repayment terms ranging from 6-months to 5-years.

Pros and Cons of Dental Practice Loans


  • Provides a boost to cash flow
  • Gives you the capital you need to start your practice
  • Allows you to expand your practice
  • Can have low interest rates
  • Money is available for immediate use
  • Helps to build your credit rating


  • Application process can be lengthy
  • Terms, loan amounts, and rates can be dependent on your business plan
  • Can be expensive
  • Need to have good to excellent credit for the best loans and terms
  • Might have to provide collateral to secure the loan

Will I need to provide a down payment to obtain a dental practice loan?

Whether or not you will need to provide a down payment to obtain a dental practice loan depends on the type of loan and the lender.

If you choose to use equipment financing, you will most likely need to provide a down payment before you can be given the funds. Other options will not require a down payment or a personal guarantee.

That said, if you can make a down payment, you will find that you can obtain much more desirable rates and terms.

Dental practice loan interest rates

The interest rates of dental practice financing vary, ranging from as little as 2.5% all the way up to 30%, so that will be the biggest cost of your loan. Some loans also require a down payment or set up fee, so make sure you’re aware of all fees before you agree to the terms.

Below is a sample table of interest rates you may expect to pay:

Loan Type Interest Rate Range Advantages Disadvantages
SBA 7(a) Loans 2.25% - 2.75% + Prime Rate • Government-backed with lower rates

• Longer repayment terms

• Flexible use of funds

• Lengthy application process

• Strict eligibility requirements

• Collateral may be required

Bank Term Loans 4% - 7% • Predictable fixed rates

• Larger loan amounts available

• Established lenders with familiar processes

• Can be less flexible than SBA loans

• Higher rates for startups or lower credit scores

Equipment Financing 4% - 8% • Specific for dental equipment purchases

• Competitive rates for secured loans

• Fast approval process

• Limited use, only for equipment
Line of Credit Prime Rate + 2% - 5% • Flexible access to funds as needed

• Lower interest on unused portion

• Can be expensive for frequent borrowing

• Unsecured option with higher rates

• Temptation to overspend

Online Lenders 5% - 10% • Fast and convenient online application

• Some specialize in dental practices

• May have flexible credit requirements

• Higher rates than traditional lenders

• Potential hidden fees or prepayment penalties

For how long can I obtain dental practice financing for?

The length of time you can obtain dental practice financing for depends on the type of financing you choose and the terms set out by the lender.

If you are looking for financing that will last, you will want to consider a bank loan or SBA loan, as opposed to an online business loan which is likely to be a short-term or medium-term loan.

Some repayment terms can be as much as 25-years, but this is typically for large real estate purchases only.

Can a startup dental practice get a loan?

Yes, startup dental practices can absolutely secure loans, though it might require some extra effort compared to established businesses. With careful planning and preparation, securing a loan for your startup dental practice is definitely achievable. It is best to explore the various options and compare the requirements from each lender.

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How to get a business loan for dentists

Qualifying for a dental practice loan varies from lender to lender, but generally you should expect to need:

  • a detailed business plan outlining your dental experience, target market, breakdown of competition, financial projections, and marketing strategies
  • an outline of how you will make your loan repayments alongside any student debt (if applicable)
  • a credit score of 650+
  • Revenue of $100,000 or more a year
  • 2+ years running a practice

If you are considering an online business loan or equipment financing, these lenders will have more lenient qualification requirements, including a lower credit score requirement, and a shorter application process.

Whichever dental practice business loan you decide is right for you and your practice, it is important that you shop around to ensure you get a good rate. Start by comparing our best dental practice business loans here and you’ll soon be well on your way to securing the funding you need.

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