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Clear aligners (invisible aligners) are removable, clear trays that fix minorly misaligned or crooked teeth. Treatment time varies depending on individual needs and the type of aligner chosen. However, clear aligner treatment typically takes 12 months or less (6 months average).
There are two types of aligners available, including direct-to-consumer aligners and in-office aligners:
Direct-to-consumer aligner treatment (at home teeth straightening) 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 remote aligners include Candid, 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.
Candid and SmileDirectClub both offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners, meaning treatment is monitored in the comfort of your own home. However, both aligner companies also have studios where you can get impressions made in-person. You can either visit a Candid Studio, a SmileShop, or order an impression kit online.
Both Candid and SmileDirectClub can fix minor bite issues, including:
The main difference between Candid and Smile Direct is that Candid only works with licensed orthodontists. Smile Direct doesn’t work exclusively with orthodontists; they also work with dentists and doctors. This may affect the quality of treatment you receive.
Five professionals founded Candid Co. They are partnered with a highly praised orthodontist, Dr. Lynn Hurst, who has over 30 years in practice. Candid only works with highly qualified 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 a patient has moderate to severe teeth misalignment, traditional braces or Invisalign treatment are better options over remote aligners.
How Candid works:
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. Smile Direct only works with registered doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly and effectively.
How Smile Direct works:
Candid aligners cost $2400 (a credit check is required). You can get a free impression at a Candid Studio or spend $95 on a mail-in starter kit. However, they often provide discounts on mail-in starter kits for up to half off. Remote monitoring throughout treatment is free. Candid also offers a payment plan. You will pay as low as $399 up-front and $99/24 months.
SmileDirectClub aligners cost $1950. You can also choose a payment plan — a deposit of $250 and a monthly payment of $89 for 24 months. Depending on preference, you can get a free 3D scan at a SmileShop or spend $59 on a mail-in starter kit. Similar to Candid, they also offer many discounts on impression kits. Remote check-ins throughout treatment are free, and no credit check is required.
Candid and Smile Direct 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.
Read more about Clear Aligners
Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.
Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.
Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid, www.candidco.com/faq/p/treatment.
SmileDirectClub. “Insurance.” https://smiledirectclub.com/insurance/.
SmileDirectClub. “Pricing.” https://smiledirectclub.com/pricing/.
SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.” https://smiledirectclub.com/how_it_works/.
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, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018497/.
Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.