Product Reviews
Updated on November 23, 2022

Candid vs SmileDirectClub

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What are Clear Aligners?

Clear aligners (invisible aligners) are removable, clear trays that fix misaligned or crooked teeth.

Treatment times vary depending on individual needs and the type of aligner chosen. Aligner treatment typically takes 12 months or less (6 months average). 

At-Home vs. In-Office Clear Aligners

There are two types of aligners available, including direct-to-consumer aligners and in-office aligners:

At-home aligner treatment is completed remotely. No orthodontic office visits are required for teeth scans, x-rays, and check-ups. You can also order online impression kits, and the aligners will be sent straight to your door. 

You’ll then send a licensed dentist or orthodontist scans of your teeth throughout the treatment process to ensure everything is going smoothly. Popular at-home aligners include Candid (not completely remote), SmileDirectClub, and Byte. 

In-office aligner treatment is completed and monitored in person. You have to visit a dentist or orthodontist to get impressions made. In-office check-ups are also required every few weeks. Popular in-office clear aligners include Invisalign and ClearCorrect.

Full Arch Clear Aligner Treatment Plan
sample treatment plan (candid / bottom teeth)
smiledirectclub bottom
sample treatment plan (smiledirectclub / bottom teeth)

Is Candid or SmileDirect Better?

SmileDirectClub (SDC) allows you to begin treatment in two ways: order an at-home impression kit or visit a SmileShop for a 3D scan. Unlike Candid, the in-person scans are not performed by licensed dental professionals.

With Candid, you have to visit a qualified CandidPro provider (dental professional) for a thorough scan. Then, a Candid orthodontist designs your treatment plan. Progress is monitored remotely via an app by the same orthodontist. SDC does not have this type of monitoring service.

SmileDirectClub can fix minor to moderate bite issues, while Candid can treat more severe issues, including:

  • Crowded Teeth — when some teeth overlap
  • Gapped Teeth (Diastema) — one large gap or multiple gaps between the teeth 
  • Overbites, underbites, and similar issues (depending on the severity)

Another difference between Candid and SmileDirect is that Candid only works with licensed orthodontists. SmileDirect doesn’t work exclusively with orthodontists; they also work with dentists and doctors. This may affect the quality of treatment you receive.

How They Compare

Candid SmileDirectClub
Cost $3,300 (on average) $2,050
How to Start Visit a certified CandidPro provider Order an at-home impression kit
Financing Options Depends on provider $250 down, $89/month for 26 months
Treatment Time 4 to 12 months 4 to 6 months
Treatable Cases Most mild to severe  Mild, some moderate
Progress Monitoring Remote with a licensed orthodontist 100% remote (hands-off care)

How Candid Works: Treatment Plan

Five professionals founded Candid. They are partnered with a highly praised orthodontist, Dr. Lynn Hurst, who has over 30 years in practice.

Candid only works with licensed orthodontists who are experts in the teeth straightening industry. This ensures patients get the highest quality care from a professional with years of experience in orthodontics.

Also, Candid only accepts cases that they are confident will benefit from clear aligner treatment. Doing so helps protect customer safety.

If your case falls out of Candid's treatment eligibility requirements, traditional braces are the better option.

How Candid works:

  1. Set up an appointment with a qualified CandidPro provider for an initial consultation. Here, your bite is digitally scanned, and impressions are taken.
  2. If you're approved, the provider will send the scans to a licensed Candid orthodontist. They will personally design your treatment plan.
  3. Wear each set of aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You can remove them to brush, floss, eat, and drink.
  4. During treatment, your progress is monitored remotely via CandidMonitoring™, the company’s telehealth platform (mobile app).
  5. The same Candid orthodontist who designs your treatment plan will track your progress in the app. These check-ins are completely remote and flexible.
  6. Treatment takes 4 to 12 months. Your final set of aligners acts as your retainers, which you'll wear every night to maintain your new smile.

Pros of Candid Aligners

  • Can treat most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment
  • An in-person consultation is required with a qualified CandidPro provider (licensed dental professional near you)
  • Remote scans are required every two weeks (CandidMonitoring™ with your assigned orthodontist)
  • Customer safety is a top priority; candidates are carefully selected based on eligibility
  • Treatment takes longer than other brands (but this is to ensure patient safety; moving teeth too fast can result in bite issues)
  • No nighttime aligners are available (because they aren't proven to be safe)
  • Completely remote treatment 
  • No diet restrictions 
  • Every treatment plan is monitored by a licensed Candid orthodontist
  • An established orthodontist, Dr. Hurst, oversees the product, vision, and safety of customers
  • Communicative customer service
  • Payment plans and refinements might be available (depends on the provider)

Cons of Candid Aligners

  • No refunds
  • More expensive than other brands like SmileDirectClub
  • No at-home impression kit option (if you prefer this)
  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits

How SmileDirect Works: Treatment Plan

SmileDirectClub is a 6-year-old company that offers at-home teeth-straightening for 60% less than braces.

The aligners are made of comfortable, smooth, BPA-free plastic. SmileDirect only works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly and effectively. 

Pros of SmileDirect Aligners

  • Treatment is monitored remotely
  • Risk-free teeth scan (in-person option at a SmileShop)
  • No diet restrictions 
  • Free whitening treatment
  • Insurance is accepted
  • No credit check required
  • Payment plan available

Cons of SmileDirect Aligners

  • Less expensive than Candid aligners (and lower quality remote monitoring)
  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits
  • Treatment can be overseen by a general dentist with less experience
  • No refunds on aligners
  • Can only treat minor to moderate cases of misalignment
  • Customer service can be hard-to-reach 
  • No in-depth remote monitoring

Cyber Week: $12 impression kit - FREE after return, plus FREE teeth whitening.

Candid vs. SmileDirect Price 

Candid aligners cost $3,300 (on average, depending on your provider and location). Payment plans also depend on the provider.

SmileDirectClub aligners cost $2,050. You can also choose a payment plan.

Depending on preference, you can get a free 3D scan at a SmileShop or spend $59 on a mail-in starter kit.

Candid and SmileDirect also accept HSA and FSA. Some insurance policies will reimburse you for part of the treatment cost. Coverage depends on your current policy, and there are no guarantees. 

8 Sources Cited
Last updated on November 23, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid,
  2. Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid,
  3. Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid,
  4. SmileDirectClub. “Insurance.”
  5. SmileDirectClub. “Pricing.”
  6. SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.”
  7. Tamer, İpek, et al. “Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review.” Turkish Journal of Orthodontics, Turkish Orthodontic Society, 1 Dec. 2019,
  8. Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.
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