Candid vs Invisalign

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Medically Reviewed
by Dr. Erica Anand
Alyssa Hill
Written by
Alyssa Hill
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Evidence Based
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11 sources cited
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What are Candid Aligners?

Candid Co. sells direct-to-consumer clear aligners. They are FDA-approved, BPA- and phthalate-free, and stain-resistant. Treatment is monitored remotely from the comfort of your own home. 

Candid goes beyond just clear aligners by offering a full, branded experience. They work exclusively with licensed orthodontists rather than general dentists. This ensures you receive high-quality care from a professional with years of experience in the teeth straightening industry.

candid starter kit and impressions

Candid aligners are a transparent and removable alternative to traditional braces and Invisalign. You will have straighter teeth in six months (on average).

How Does Candid Work?

  1. Order a starter kit online and take impressions of your teeth and send them back. You can also visit a Candid Studio for a risk-free, in-person scan. 
  2. Once approved for treatment, you’ll receive the aligners within three weeks of the impression. 
  3. Wear each set of aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You can remove the aligners to brush, floss, eat, and drink.
  4. A licensed orthodontist tracks your progress via virtual scans (remote monitoring). These check-ins are completely remote and flexible.
  5. Treatment takes about six months. After treatment, you’ll order a custom-made retainer that ensures your teeth stay straight. A set of Candid retainers costs an additional $99.

What Conditions Can Candid Treat?

Candid aligners only treat minor cases of teeth misalignment, including:

  • Small teeth gaps 
  • Minorly crooked teeth
  • Minorly crowded teeth

There are a few main reasons why you wouldn’t be a candidate for Candid aligners, including:

  • Cases of severe teeth misalignment. If your case falls outside of the range of mild to moderate malocclusion, you’ll be denied treatment. Malocclusion refers to a “bad bite” and is an imperfection in how your teeth come together when the jaw is closed. Severe misalignment — such as an overbite, underbite, or open bite — requires more invasive orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign.
  • Untreated dental conditions. If you have untreated oral conditions or upcoming dental work, you will need to make sure these issues are addressed first. This includes cavities, gum disease, and similar conditions. Your teeth and gums must be healthy enough before clear aligner treatment begins. 
  • Existing dental restorations. Certain dental restorations, including dental implants and bridges, cannot be treated with Candid clear aligners.

Is Candid Safe?

Yes, Candid aligners are safe. Candid Co. only works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. Orthodontists also have to complete 2 to 3 years of tooth movement residency after dental school. 

Also, the same doctor who designs your treatment plan will track your teeth straightening progress via remote monitoring. This ensures your teeth are moving correctly and safely. 

Clear aligners are an effective and cost-effective treatment for crowded teeth, gapped teeth, and some cases of overbites and underbites. Learn about how they work, popular brands, and costs.

Keep in mind that direct-to-consumer clear aligner treatment is monitored remotely. There is a slightly higher risk for complications to occur. Visiting a Candid studio for in-person teeth impressions can help prevent any errors from occurring. If you choose to buy a starter kit online, make sure you follow the directions carefully to prevent inaccurate impressions.

Orthodontic treatment is less predictable without in-person office visits. However, when monitored closely by an experienced orthodontist, remote invisible aligner treatment is safe and effective.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign treatment is the most well-known and established clear aligner brand. Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved. They also do not contain any BPS, BPA, gluten, or latex and fit snugly over your teeth. 

Invisalign aligners are different from other aligners because they are made of a patented thermoplastic material, called SmartTrack®. They claim to be more comfortable and are easier to put on and remove. 

invisalign aligners

Treatment includes wearing a series of removable, invisible aligners that straighten your teeth over time. Unlike Candid, Invisalign treatment is monitored in person by a general dentist or orthodontist. Unlike Candid, you cannot buy a starter kit for Invisalign online.

How Does Invisalign Work?

  1. An Invisalign treatment plan starts with an in-person consultation with an Invisalign-trained doctor, dentist, or orthodontist. They will evaluate your smile and create a custom digital treatment plan that shows step-by-step progress.
  2. After you approve the treatment plan, your custom aligners will be created. The aligners must be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. Every new set will move your teeth in small increments, and you’ll change them out every 1 to 2 weeks.
  3. You’ll also set up appointments with the Invisalign doctor every few weeks throughout the entire treatment process. They will track your teeth straightening progress. 
  4. Invisalign treatment takes between 12 and 18 months. You’ll buy a Vivera® retainer to keep your teeth straight after treatment. 

What Conditions Can Invisalign Treat?

Invisalign can treat more malocclusion types and bite issues than Candid. These include: 

  • Crooked and crowded teeth (overlapping teeth)
  • Overbite (upper front teeth overlap the lower front teeth)
  • Underbite (lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth)
  • Diastema (gaps between the teeth)
  • Open Bite (front upper and lower teeth slant out and don’t touch when the mouth is closed)
  • Invisalign can also fix misaligned baby teeth and developing permanent teeth (phase I orthodontic treatment). Children between 6 and 10 years old are candidates

Not everyone is a suitable candidate for Invisalign treatment. Severe cases like jaw malocclusion, impacted teeth, missing teeth, or loose teeth may require alternative treatment such as metal braces. This is why the initial consultation and digital scan are so important.

How Long Does Invisalign Take?

With Invisalign, you’ll probably start seeing results in a few weeks. However, the treatment time varies between 6 to 24 months, depending on the severity of your condition. The average treatment time is 12 to 18 months.

Candid vs. Invisalign: The Main Differences 

1. Candid Offers Free Consultations (In-Person or Remote)

Candid offers a free and risk-free teeth scan at a Candid Studio. You can also order an impression kit online and take the teeth impressions yourself at home. Then, if you are approved for treatment, you’ll receive the aligners in the mail a few weeks later. If you choose not to go through with treatment, Candid will give you a full refund for the online starter kit. 

Invisalign requires in-office consultations that can cost $100 to $200 just to get started. If you need dental X-rays, these consultations can cost even more. 

2. Candid Only Works With Licensed Orthodontists

Candid only works with licensed and qualified orthodontists who are experts in the teeth straightening industry. This ensures patients receive high-quality care from a professional with many years of experience in orthodontics. Orthodontists require two years of specialized training in tooth movement after dental school.

A general dentist or an orthodontist can prescribe Invisalign treatment. While Invisalign treatment is still very safe and effective, having your treatment plan overseen by an orthodontist is the best way to go. 

3. Candid is Cheaper Than Invisalign

Candid aligners cost $2,400 in total. The aligner kit costs $95, and the retainers cost an additional $99. You can choose to pay the $2,400 upfront or pay as low as $99/month with the payment plan.

Invisalign aligners cost anywhere between $3,000 and $8,000. The higher cost is attributed to longer treatment time. Also, Invisalign is often used to treat more complicated cases of teeth misalignment. Talk with your dentist about a monthly payment plan. 

You can also use an HSA or FSA to pay for Candid or Invisalign treatment.

4. Candid Treatment is Faster Than Invisalign

The average treatment time for Candid is six months. Invisalign treatment takes between 12 and 18 months. Keep in mind that Candid can only treat minor malocclusion cases, while Invisalign can treat more severe forms of misalignment. 

5. Invisalign is Monitored in Person; Candid is Monitored Remotely

With Candid, a licensed orthodontist tracks your progress via virtual scans. These appointments are completely remote and flexible.

Want a straighter smile? Read our reviews of the top clear aligners of 2021

With Invisalign, you’ll set up office visits with an Invisalign doctor every few weeks so they can track your progress. Invisalign treatment is monitored more closely than Candid aligner treatment. 

6. Invisalign Can Treat More Bite Problems Than Candid 

Candid's aligners can only treat minor to moderate teeth alignment issues. This includes a few crooked teeth, crowded teeth, or teeth gaps (diastema). Invisalign can treat mild to severe misalignment cases, including overbites, underbites, open bites, and even misaligned baby teeth. It treats difficult cases by using special attachments or elastics to help shift the jaw and teeth into the correct position.

7. Free Teeth Whitening Included With Candid Aligners 

Candid provides a free whitening foam with every purchase (at no extra cost). This premium whitening foam is safe to use in your aligners.

Candid vs. SmileDirectClub vs. Invisalign

Candid and SmileDirectClub are both at-home clear aligners. The main difference between Candid and Smile Direct is that Candid only works with licensed orthodontists. Smile Direct doesn’t work solely with orthodontists; they also work with general dentists. This can affect the quality of treatment.

Invisalign only offers in-office clear aligner treatment. Similar to Smile Direct, they also work with both general dentists and orthodontists. Invisalign is the most expensive clear aligner treatment option. Smile Direct is the cheapest of the three aligner companies (less than $2,000). 

Candid vs. Invisalign: Which is Right for You? 

To determine whether Invisalign or Candid treatment is right for you, speak with your dentist or orthodontist. You can also get a free scan at a Candid Studio to see if your teeth misalignment is mild enough for treatment. That way, you can save a couple of thousand dollars on clear aligner treatment.

If you are a candidate for both Candid and Invisalign aligners, the one you choose may depend on your lifestyle. For example, if you want flexible treatment and remote monitoring, Candid is the ideal option. If you prefer more intensive (in-person) treatment and do not mind the cost, Invisalign is for you. 

If a Candid orthodontist believes you’d be better served by close monitoring with in-office orthodontic treatment (Invisalign or metal braces), they will let you know upfront. This ensures you get the best possible care for your needs.


Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid,

Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid,

Candid. “Our Most Frequently Asked Questions.” Candid,

Candid. “What's the Difference between Candid and Invisalign?” Medium, Candid, 11 Feb. 2020,

“FAQ.” Invisalign,

“See What Invisalign® Treatment Can Do.” Invisalign,

“SmartTrack® Material.” Invisalign,

SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.”

“You Made Your Smile Beautiful. Keep It That Way with Vivera® Retainers.” Retainers for Invisalign | Vivera,

“How Does Invisalign® Treatment Work?” How Does Invisalign Work | Invisalign Braces,

Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.

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