Updated on February 22, 2024
7 min read

Candid vs SmileDirectClub

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Smile Direct Club (SDC) is ceasing its global operations “effective immediately.”1 How it affects you as a customer will depend on which stage of the treatment process you’re in.

Summary

  • Candid and SDC offer different aligner treatment options. Different factors contribute to the overall cost of treatment. There are also pros and cons of each treatment plan.
  • You must consider these first before choosing an aligner treatment. With the help of a virtual team, these aligners can help improve your smile.
  • Ultimately, the choice will depend on your treatment preferences.

Comparing Candid and SmileDirect

Here are some differences between Candid and SmileDirect:

Effectiveness

SmileDirectClub (SDC) can fix minor to moderate bite issues. These aligners can move your front teeth for a better smile. However, they can’t move your molars even if the aligners cover them.

On the other hand, 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)

Candid offers a more comprehensive treatment plan to improve your smile.

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

Price

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

SmileDirectClub aligners cost $2,250. 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.

While Candid aligners are slightly cheaper than SDC, the price of Candid includes AI monitoring. This reduces the time of treatment, which is a great benefit.

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. You can also opt for a dental savings plan to pay for your treatment.

Getting Started

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 must 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.

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.

Appearance

While both aligners are customized to fit your mouth’s contours, their material and cut results in different appearances. Candid uses a tri-layer plastic called Zendura FLX to mold their aligners. This material has a firmer and more durable outer shell.

SDC aligners are made from BPA plastic. Different variable thicknesses are also available based on your needs. They also have firm aligners that fit more snugly, making them less noticeable.

They also recently introduced Comfort Sense, a laser technology that precision-cuts the aligners for a smoother fit. This makes your aligners more comfortable and suitable to your mouth’s shape.

Patient Experience

Patients and customers have different experiences among the two aligner options. Both options offer you a virtual and remote way to keep up with your progress.

Candid offers different remote options for monitoring your teeth’s movement. You can talk to a licensed orthodontist through video chat or the app. This allows you to get a personalized experience with your treatment plan.

The CandidMonitoring service also checks in with you every 14 days. If any adjustments need to be made, the orthodontist will make them.

SDC also offers you the ability to track 100% of your progress at home. SDC has regular virtual “Smile Check-ins” with their dental team every 90 days. You may also contact their support team via phone and webchat 24/7.

How They Compare

CandidSmileDirectClub
Cost$3,300 (on average)$2,250
How to StartVisit a certified CandidPro providerOrder an at-home impression kit
Financing OptionsDepends on provider$250 down, $89/month for 26 months
Treatment Time4 to 12 months4 to 6 months
Treatable CasesMost mild to severe Mild, some moderate
Progress MonitoringRemote with a licensed orthodontist100% 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

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 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 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.

Candid Pros & Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Candid aligners:

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 
  • A licensed Candid orthodontist monitors every treatment plan
  • 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.

Smiledirect club product shot bix

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. 

SmileDirect Pros & Cons

Here are the pros and cons of SmileDirect aligners:

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

What’s Next?

Discover the best fit for your smile.

Explore top at-home clear aligner brands.

Last updated on February 22, 2024
8 Sources Cited
Last updated on February 22, 2024
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. “Insurance.” SmileDirectClub.
  5. “Pricing.” SmileDirectClub.
  6. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.” SmileDirectClub.
  7. Tamer, et al. “Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review.” Turkish Journal of Orthodontics, Turkish Orthodontic Society, 2019.
  8. Proffit, et al. “Contemporary Orthodontics.” Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.
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