Candid Aligners Review

Key Takeaways

  • Candid straightens teeth the right way. Candid aligners move all your teeth—not just the front six—for safe and comprehensive results.
  • Affordable alternative to Invisalign (with comparable results). Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $8,000. Candid is thousands less at just $1,895. This is $505 less than the original price (as of October 2021).
  • Comprehensive care and remote monitoring. Candid has the only true telehealth system in the industry (CandidMonitoring). You’ll use the app (4.9/5 stars in the App Store) to scan your teeth every 14 days, communicate with your orthodontist, and connect to their 7/365 virtual practice.
  • They work exclusively with orthodontists. Candid is the only at-home aligner company that works directly with orthodontists (teeth straightening experts).
  • Two ways to begin treatment. We recommend starting Candid treatment in one of their 30+ studios, where you'll get panoramic x-rays and intraoral scans free of charge. You can also start with an at-home impression kit.
  • Candidates are carefully selected based on eligibility. Most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment are accepted.
  • Candid does not offer night aligners because they aren't proven to be effective or safe.
  • Free refinments. If you aren't satisfied with the results, you can request refinements within 30 days of finishing treatment (Candid Guarantee).

Pros & Cons of Candid Aligners

Candid is a brand of at-home clear aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, which are a convenient and affordable way to straighten your teeth at home.

This aligner company provides patients with Invisalign-level care (at an affordable price point) without having to visit an orthodontist in person.

Candid is also the only direct-to-consumer brand that works exclusively with licensed orthodontists. The same orthodontist who makes your treatment plan will oversee your treatment from start to finish.

PROS

  • Treatment takes about six months (compared to 16 to 24 for braces or 12 for Invisalign)
  • Candid only works with orthodontists
  • Treatment is thousands less than Invisalign and braces (just $1,895)
  • Comprehensive, in-person scans available at Candid Studios (you’re more likely to get better diagnostic records taken here than with at-home kits)
  • CandidApp for remote monitoring and teledentistry services 
  • CandidScan device that connects to your phone and scans your teeth
  • An orthodontist reviews your teeth scans every two weeks via the app
  • Affordable payment plans available
  • A free online assessment must be taken to determine candidacy 
  • Customer service is available 9-7 EST (seven days a week)
  • Free whitening foam included
  • Free refinements (Candid Guarantee)

CONS

  • Candid Studios (for in-person scans) are currently only available in 10 states
  • The financing options require a credit check
  • No in-office visits throughout treatment (if you prefer this)
  • The aligners can be uncomfortable for some people 
  • A lisp can develop when the aligners are in your mouth
  • Retainers cost $100

Candid vs. Invisalign: What’s the Difference? 

Invisalign is #1 in the aligner industry. These aligners are proven to be effective and safe teeth straightening devices.

To start Invisalign treatment, you have to visit a licensed Invisalign doctor to undergo scans and have a treatment plan created. You also have to visit an orthodontist every few weeks to track progress, making treatment less convenient. 

Candid, on the other hand, is an effective teeth straightening alternative that offers superior care with added convenience. Candid treatment outcomes are similar to Invisalign but the aligners cost thousands less. 

candid
  • Treatment is more affordable ($1,895)
  • You can visit a Candid Studio to start the process for free
  • There’s no commitment to move forward with treatment until your approve the plan
  • No monthly office visits are required
  • CandidApp for remote monitoring (the scans only take a few minutes and are required every two weeks)
  • Candid works exclusively with licensed orthodontists
  • Candid aligners are actually clear because there are no buttons or wires on your teeth
  • Treatment takes 6 to 12 months
  • Eligible for mild to severe teeth spacing issues (*cannot treat skeletal issues like severe jaw misalignment)
invisalign
  • Treatment is expensive ($3,000 to $8,000) 
  • Consultations can cost up to $200 (even more if you need x-rays)
  • In-person visits are necessary about every six weeks
  • In some cases, Invisalign is prescribed by a general dentist instead of an orthodontist
  • Treatment can take up to 18 months (sometimes longer)

Learn more about the differences between Candid and Invisalign here. 

6 Standout Features of Candid Aligners

What makes Candid different from other aligners? Here are the standout features:

1. Two Ways to Start Treatment: Candid Studio or Impression Kit

You can begin Candid aligner treatment in two different ways:

  1. Order an impression kit online and take the impressions yourself. If you choose to take your impressions at home, Candid will give you access to step-by-step videos to ensure you take them correctly. These instructions are very in depth and easy to follow. 
  2. Visit a Candid Studio for a professional 3D scan. If you visit a Candid studio, a trained professional will take a 3D impression scan of your teeth. This feature is not offered by other leading at-home aligner brands. If you have a Candid Studio in your area, take advantage of it to ensure you get the best care and results possible.
How Candid Studios Work

NewMouth recommends visiting a Candid Studio for an in-person scan and consultation. Scheduling an appointment is easy and 100% risk-free. The studios are currently available in 10 U.S. states.

During the studio visit, a Candid professional will take eight diagnostic photos of your face, teeth, and mouth. This minimizes the risk for error and ensures you get the best results possible. 

They will also take 3D scans of your teeth. This device takes thousands of photos of your mouth per second. The process takes under 10 minutes. The end result is a detailed digital model of your mouth, teeth, and gums.

The 3D scan and photos are sent to a licensed orthodontist near you. They will create a fully customized treatment plan and email it to you within three weeks. 

At the end of your studio visit, you have the option to pay for treatment and start the process. If you decide to cancel treatment before your aligners are made, you’ll receive a full refund. However, after you approve the plan, you cannot get a refund.

CANDID STUDIO APPOINTMENT

100% risk-free.

How At-Home Impression Kits Work

If you decide to order an at-home impression kit, be sure to follow the instructions very carefully. There is a higher risk for error with at-home kits.

It is not uncommon for Candid to make patients retake photos and impressions multiple times. This is why we recommend visiting a Candid Studio if you have one near you. 

However, if at-home impressions are more convenient for you, the process takes about 30 minutes. It consists of the following steps:

  1. Open the Candid starter kit box
  2. Read the card labeled '1' to access the tutorial videos
  3. Log in to your Candid Portal
  4. Take and submit photos using the smile stretcher
  5. Take and submit your teeth impressions (five total)
  6. Send the impressions back using the prepaid package (within three days of receiving the kit)
  7. If approved, you’ll receive a custom treatment plan within three weeks
  8. You have the option to approve or deny treatment (risk-free until you accept the plan)

CANDID AT-HOME IMPRESSION KIT

100% risk-free.

2. CandidApp™ Remote Monitoring (CandidMonitoring™)

Candid treatment is monitored 100% remotely through the CandidApp. This app is a complete ‘teledentistry service’ that allows you to connect to the virtual orthodontist office at any time

You’ll send in progress photos every two weeks using the CandidScan included in your Candid treatment package. The box connects to your phone and is used to take detailed images of tooth movement.

The app will walk you through the entire process during each scan. You can also set up notifications on your phone to make sure you don’t miss a scan date. 

Once you submit the photos, you’ll hear back from your orthodontist within a few hours. They will let you know if it’s safe to move on to the next set.

If your teeth aren’t tracking correctly, the orthodontist will provide you with screenshots of your teeth highlighting what went wrong and how to get your treatment back on track. 

A patient’s primary interface with Candid is through the CandidApp, which is one of the top-rated teledentistry apps in the App Store (4.9/5 stars). Patients use CandidApp to scan their teeth, communicate with their orthodontist, and ask the 7/365 customer support team any questions they may have.

3. Patient Care & Satisfaction at the Forefront

Candid doesn’t sacrifice clinical oversight over quick results. Unlike many remote aligner brands, Candid doesn’t have a ‘night aligner’ option. This is because there is no proof that night aligners are effective; they may actually do more harm to your teeth than good. 

According to Dr. C Lynn Hurst, Chief Dental Officer at Candid, “because the protocols around nighttime aligner therapy generally specify only 10 hours of wear time per day, I am concerned that you may never experience the light continuous force necessary for effective healthy tooth movement.” 

“Without a longer and more consistent wear schedule, your teeth can be left in a limbo state of inflammation. And it would take your teeth much longer to reach the healing phase, if at all. It’s kind of like breaking your arm and having the physician reset the fracture, but only wearing the cast at night, preventing proper healing,” says Hurst. 

Due to the risks and ‘unknowns’ of night aligners, Candid only has a regular aligner option to ensure your teeth move safely. 

4. Function First — Cosmetics Second (Safe Tooth Movement)

Many patients seek aligner treatment with the desire to straighten their front and/or bottom teeth. But to effectively do this, it's essential to take all of the teeth into account.

You cannot safely straighten front teeth without first making room for them. In other words, the molars must be repositioned, and the dental arch expanded.

Unfortunately, some aligner brands only move your top six and bottom six teeth. This form of treatment is referred to as 'social 6' or 'social 12.' It consists of flaring the front teeth out without moving the molars or expanding the dental arch.

Social 6/12 treatment only addresses a patient's cosmetic concerns (i.e., straightening the front teeth). It does not fix their entire bite, resulting in poor results, an 'off' bite, and other oral health issues. There is also a higher chance that the teeth will become crooked again.

Candid provides a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses function first and cosmetics second. The aligners move all of your teeth, rather than just the front teeth. This form of treatment is called 'full arch' tooth movement.

The first step is to move the molars and expand the dental arch, creating room for the front teeth. The 'social 12' part of treatment (front tooth movement) is not addressed until later. This ensures the teeth move safely and the entire bite lines up by the end of treatment.

According to Dr. Lynn Hurst, Chief Clinical Officer at Candid, some patients may only care about the cosmetic side of aligner treatment. But if you don’t treat the bite as a whole, the results won’t last. The teeth will also not align properly when the patient bites down.

"We're not just correcting the social six, we're preparing both arches for what's going to be the social six correction. As we expand and create space for the necessary movements, we’re able to then address all the issues a patient has with their bite as we tackle their chief complaint. At the end of the day, there’s no shortcut to doing it right."

- Dr. Lynn Hurst, Chief Clinical Officer at Candid

View this treatment case from Candid.

5. High-Quality Aligner Material

Candid aligners are fabricated in Silicon Valley. They are made of Zendura FLX, a tri-layer material that provides a great mixture of comfort and force. This material is very similar to Invisalign’s SmartTrack in terms of comfortability.

Candid aligners are stain-resistant, durable, and BPA- and phthalate-free. A gentle whitening foam is also included in every purchase. The foam disinfects the aligners, freshens your breath, and whitens your aligners and teeth (use up to six times a day).

6. Philips Zoom Whitening Add-On

Before you begin your aligner treatment, Candid allows you the option to kick-start your new smile with Philips Zoom whitening. This is the #1 patient requested professional whitening brand. 

For the first time ever, you’ll get professional level whitening at home for 50% less. Philips professional whitening treatment can cost over $500 in a dental office. 

The custom molds are created just for your teeth and leave no surface untouched. You’ll see results in just three days, while also protecting your tooth enamel. The add-on costs $299. 

How Much Do Candid Aligners Cost?

As of October 2021, Candid aligners now cost $1,895 ($505 less than the original price). This covers your entire set of clear aligners and remote monitoring.

If you can’t afford to pay for treatment right away, Candid also offers a payment plan. You can pay as low as $199 down and then $65 for 36 months. The retainer costs $99 and includes free shipping.

Additional Costs 

Additional costs may include:

  • The impression kit — a remote aligner kit, which you can order online, costs $95 with free shipping. Sometimes they offer discounts on these kits (up to 50% off). 
  • A new set of retainers — after treatment, you will order a retainer that keeps your teeth straight. These retainers will need to be replaced every six months to a year. They cost $99. 
  • Philips Zoom whitening treatment — before you begin treatment, Candid allows you the option to kick-start your new smile with Philips Zoom whitening. This brand is the #1 patient requested professional whitening brand. Treatment costs $299 with Candid vs. over $500 in a dental office.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Candid?

Some dental insurance policies cover orthodontic treatment for adults, which may include Candid aligners.

While coverage varies greatly, many plans reimburse 50 percent of the treatment cost, with up to $1,000 reimbursed.

You can pay as low as $950 out-of-pocket for Candid aligners if your insurance covers it.

Who is a Candidate for Candid Aligners?

Candid can treat most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment, including:

  • Teeth gaps 
  • Crooked/crowded teeth
  • Underbites and overbites

Not everyone is eligible for Candid aligner treatment. There are four main reasons for ineligibility, including:

  • Jaw misalignment and skeletal issues. If your case falls outside the range of mild to severe dental malocclusion, you will need to explore alternative teeth straightening options like Invisalign or braces.
  • Untreated dental conditions. If you have untreated dental conditions (like cavities or gum disease), or upcoming dental work, address these issues before starting aligner treatment.
  • Existing dental restorations. Certain dental restorations (like dental implants) cannot be treated with Candid aligners.
  • You have a permanent retainer from previous orthodontic treatment. 

How Long Does Candid Aligner Treatment Take?

Candid treatment takes about six months (on average). However, if you only have minor spacing issues like gapped teeth, treatment might only take about four months. If you have moderate to severe crowding, treatment can take up to a year. Refinements may also be necessary at the end of treatment. 

Candid sends all of your aligners at once. You must wear the aligners for 22 hours a day. Every new set slowly moves your teeth into the correct position. Multiple aligners are used because a single aligner only moves your teeth about 1 mm at a time. 

After treatment is complete, your final set of aligners will act as your retainers. You’ll wear the last set for about four weeks straight (rather than two weeks). Then they only have to be worn at night to maintain your new, straight smile. 

It is essential to wear your retainers every night to prevent your teeth from shifting back into their original positions. You should also replace them every six months to a year. They cost $99. 

Is Candid Reliable? Are At-Home Aligners Safe?

At-home aligner treatment is generally considered safe if you follow instructions carefully throughout treatment. According to one study, 87.5% of respondents were happy with their at-home aligner treatment, while 6.6% had to visit their dentist after treatment to fix adverse effects.5

Direct-to-consumer clear aligner treatment is monitored remotely, so there is always a slightly higher risk for complications to occur. This is because orthodontic treatment is less predictable without in-person visits.

Candid only works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. Orthodontists also have to complete two to three years of tooth movement residency after dental school.



Candid Clear Aligners

Based on our research, we think that Candid is the #1 choice for safe, effective, affordable, and expert-led at-home aligner treatment.

Rating by Alyssa Hill

candid starter kit
Overall Value
Affordability
Treatment Time
Customer Service
Convenience
Comfort

Summary

Candid only works with licensed orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. They have a detailed onboarding process and provide in-depth care and customer service.

4.8

Pros

  • Comprehensive, in-person scans available at Candid Studios (you’re more likely to get better diagnostic records taken here than with at-home kits)
  • CandidApp for remote monitoring and teledentistry services 
  • Affordable payment plans available
  • Treatment takes about six months (compared to 16 to 24 for braces or 12 for Invisalign)
  • A free online assessment must be taken to determine candidacy 
  • Remote treatment from a highly qualified orthodontist 
  • Support is available seven days a week

Cons

  • No in-office visits (if you prefer this)
  • The aligners can be uncomfortable for some people 
  • A lisp can develop when the aligners are in your mouth

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any other questions about Candid aligners, visit their website for more detailed information. 

Is remote treatment as effective as in-person orthodontic treatment?

Clear aligners have been around for over 20 years. With advancements in digital cameras, teledentistry, and 3D printing, creating an aligner treatment plan is more effective and safe than ever.

Can you eat with Candid aligners in?

Yes, you can eat and drink with Candid aligners. However, you should not drink hot liquids with the aligners in your mouth. Warm liquids are okay. It is also crucial to rinse the aligners off after eating to prevent bacteria buildup and discoloration. 

Are there other ways to pay for treatment? 

Candid offers a payment plan. They also accept FSA and HSA. Some insurance plans also reimburse patients for part of treatment, but this depends on your specific policy, and there are no guarantees. 

Does Candid offer a money-back guarantee?

Candid does not offer a money-back guarantee for treatment. If your teeth do not match the 3D treatment plan you received initially, they may provide refinements. This means you will receive additional aligners at the end of treatment. 

Is Candid or SmileDirect better?

Candid and SmileDirect both offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners. Both aligner companies also have studios where you can get impressions made in person.

The main 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.

Candid aligners are also less expensive than SmileDirect and offer better overall care/remote monitoring.

Is Invisalign better than Candid?

Invisalign is the most well-known clear aligner brand. Treatment is monitored in person by a dentist or orthodontist, which means it is safer than at-home clear aligner treatment.

Candid is considered effective but treatment is not monitored as closely since it is remote.

How much is Candid per month?

If you choose the payment plan, you will pay as low as $199 down and $65 for 36 months.

Resources

(1) Candid. Straighten Your Teeth in an Average of 6 Months. www.candidco.com/.

(2) Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.

(3) Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.

(4) Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid, www.candidco.com/faq/p/treatment.

(5) Wexler, Anna, et al. “Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics: Surveying the User Experience.” The Journal of the American Dental Association

(6) Ke, Yunyan, et al. “A Comparison of Treatment Effectiveness between Clear Aligner and Fixed Appliance Therapies.” BMC Oral Health, BioMed Central, 23 Jan. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343314/.

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

(8) 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/.

(9) Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Mar. 2017, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/adj.12480.

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