Candid Review

What are Candid Aligners?

Candid sells at-home clear aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, which are a convenient and affordable way to straighten your teeth at home. The brand offers ‘the best of both worlds' by providing 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 board-certified orthodontists. The same orthodontist who makes your treatment plan will oversee your treatment from start to finish.

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 ($2,400 to $2,699 for Philips Zoom whitening add-on)
  • You can visit a Candid Studio to start the process for free. There’s no commitment to move forward with treatment during this appointment.
  • No monthly office visits are required. Instead, you’ll have access to the CandidApp for remote monitoring. The scans only take a few minutes and are required every two weeks (in most cases). 
  • Candid works exclusively with a team of licensed orthodontists with an average of 20 years experience.
  • Treatment takes 6 months (on average) to 11 months (at most). 
  • Eligible for mild to severe teeth spacing issues. However, Candid 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 takes 12 months (on average). 
  • Invisalign can treat more complicated teeth spacing issues (hence the longer treatment time). 

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 (if you have one near you). Scheduling an appointment is simple and 100% risk-free. First, you’ll want to make sure there is a location in your area. If there is, you can schedule a consultation on Candid’s website within minutes after answering a few questions about your oral and general health status.

After you make the appointment, you’ll receive a confirmation text from Candid. They will also send you an email with additional information, including directions and protocols. 

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. 

Then they will take 3D scans of your teeth, which is a feature that is not possible with at-home impression kits. The 3D scan 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 (example photos below). 

After the 3D model is made, the full scan and photos are sent to a Candid orthodontist in your area. From there, they will create a fully customized treatment plan and email it to you within two to 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. If you’ve already started your aligner treatment, you cannot get a refund. 

Candid currently has studios in the following locations:

  • Georgia
  • Texas
  • Massachusetts
  • Illinois
  • Virginia
  • Colorado
  • California
  • Florida
  • New Jersey
  • New York

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. In fact, 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 and remove all of the items. There are three steps total.
  2. Read the card labeled '1' for detailed instructions on how to access the tutorial videos.
  3. The online portal is very thorough and provides step-by-step instructions. You'll need to submit photos using the provided smile stretcher before taking your impressions.
  4. After you take the photos, you'll receive directions on how to take the teeth impressions. The tutorial videos are detailed and short. It is essential to watch these videos.
  5. Once the putty is molded (follow the instructions carefully), you'll place each tray in your mouth for 3 1/2 minutes. There are five impressions total (three top and two bottoms).
  6. After you take the photos and impressions, you'll send the impressions back using the prepaid package provided by Candid. You'll want to do this within three days of receiving the kit.
  7. If you’re approved for treatment, you’ll receive a custom treatment plan within three weeks. You have the option to approve or deny treatment. If you decide not to go through with treatment, Candid will refund you for the starter kit.

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 a Candid orthodontist at any time

You’ll send in progress photos every two weeks using the ScanBox 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.

candid app

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. 

** No other aligner brand has an in-depth teledentistry platform like Candid.

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. 

Candid treatment also typically takes longer than other brands like byte or SmileDirectClub. This is because moving teeth too fast increases the risk of tooth loss, future bite problems, and poorer results. 

Quick orthodontic treatment is not accepted by most orthodontists. According to Stephen Belli, a board-certified orthodontist who has treated over 15,000 patients, “if you move a tooth too fast, you can actually cause damage to the bone and gums. And if you don’t put the tooth in the right position, you could throw off your bite, leading to additional damage and wear on the teeth,” (Washington Post).

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
Example of social 6 straightening

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.

However, 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.

full arch
Example of Candid treatment plan using 'full arch' tooth movement - this is the same bite as above.

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.

candid gif
Another example of Candid treatment plan using 'full arch' tooth movement

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

Read 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 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 18 to 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. 

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. 

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.

At-home aligner treatment is also relatively new, and more research is still being done on the risks and advantages of treatment. However, most patients are satisfied with the results and prefer these aligners over traditional treatment due to cost and convenience.5

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. 

PROS
  • Remote impressions 
  • Comprehensive, in-person scans available at Candid Studios 
  • 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
  • Minor to severe treatment cases are accepted (as long as you don't have jaw misalignment or other skeletal issues)
  • Higher risk for complications than in-office orthodontic treatment
  • The aligners can be uncomfortable for some people 
  • A lisp can develop when the aligners are in your mouth

How Much Do Candid Aligners Cost?

Candid aligner treatment costs $2,400, which 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 will pay $399 up-front, and then $99 for 24 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.


Candid vs. Competitors

Unlike other direct-to-consumer aligner companies, Candid only works with highly qualified orthodontists, rather than general dentists. General dentists can also provide orthodontic treatment, but orthodontists are teeth straightening experts. Working exclusively with orthodontists provides patients with higher quality care.

Candid is a more expensive at-home aligner brand. However, they provide excellent remote monitoring and care to every patient. You can message them with any questions or concerns you may have (and they respond quickly).

Candid requires you to upload photos in a personal, online portal before taking impressions. These photos must be approved by a licensed orthodontist before treatment begins. Step-by-step instructions and tutorial videos are also provided to make the process easier.

Candid also offers detailed remote monitoring via the CandidApp (available on iOS and Android). 

CandidByteALIGNERCOSmileDirectClub
Best Remote MonitoringQuickest TreatmentBest Budget AlignerFirst-Ever Remote Aligner
Cost$2,400$1,895 to $2,245$1,145$1,950
Treatment Length6 to 12 months3 to 6 months8 to 12 months4 to 6 months
Payment Plan
Nighttime Aligner
In-Office Consultation Option
Ortho-Directed
Remote
Monitoring
Free Retainer
Premium Whitening Treatment
Lifetime
Guarantee
Accepts HSA/FSA

Candid vs. SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub is the most well-known remote aligner company. The aligners cost $1,950 (for both the normal aligners and night aligners). Candid aligners are pricier but the treatment is more hands-on. Also, Smile Direct works with doctors, dentists, and orthodontists. Candid only works with licensed and experienced orthodontists (teeth straightening experts).

The average treatment time for Smile Direct is 4 to 6 months, while Candid typically takes between 6 and 12 months.

Compare Candid and SmileDirectClub (reviews, care & costs).

Candid vs. ALIGNERCO

ALIGNERCO is the most affordable at-home aligner on the market ($1,145 vs. $2,400 for Candid). Although cost-effective, ALIGNERCO treatment typically takes longer than Candid. The average treatment time is between 8 and 12 months vs. 6 to 12 months for Candid.

ALIGNERCO and Candid do not provide a night aligner option.

Compare Candid and ALIGNERCO (reviews, care & costs).

Candid vs. Byte

Candid is the most expensive at-home aligner brand ($2,400). However, they have excellent customer service and a detailed onboarding process. Byte also has responsive customer service, but the onboarding process is not as detailed. Candid treatment takes much longer than Byte, but treatment is more intensive.

Compare Candid and Byte (reviews, care & costs).

Candid Clear Aligners

Candid is a company that sells clear aligners, also called invisible aligners. They are a transparent and removable alternative to traditional braces.

Rating by Alyssa Hill

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

Summary

Candid only works with highly qualified 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.

4.7

Pros

  • You can visit a Candid Studio to start the process for free.
  • No commitment to move forward with treatment.
  • No monthly office visits are required.
  • CandidApp for remote monitoring. The scans only take a few minutes and are required every two weeks (in most cases). 
  • Candid works exclusively with a team of licensed orthodontists with an average of 20 years of experience.
  • Treatment takes 6 months (on average) to 11 months (at most).

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands
  • No lifetime guarantee 
  • Eligible for most mild to severe teeth spacing issues (excluding jaw misalignment/skeletal problems).
  • Slightly higher risk for complications than braces and in-office aligners

Candid: Common Questions and Answers

If you have any other questions about Candid aligners, visit the 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 Smile Direct better?

Candid and Smile Direct both offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners. However, both aligners also have studios where you can get impressions made in person.

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.

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 $399 up-front and $99 for 24 months.

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.

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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