Candid Scans vs. Impression Kits: Which is Better?

Alyssa Hill
Written by
Alyssa Hill
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Candid Aligners 

At-home aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, are discreet orthodontic treatment options monitored 100% remotely.

Unlike braces and Invisalign, at-home aligners do not require in-person consultations or appointments. 

Candid is a popular brand of at-home clear aligners. Treatment results are comparable to Invisalign but with considerably more convenience. 

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). 

Direct-to-consumer aligners like Candid are also thousands cheaper than braces and Invisalign. This is because they can only treat minor to moderate teeth spacing issues. Treatment is also not monitored as closely as braces or Invisalign. 

There are two ways to begin treatment with Candid: a 3D scan at a Candid Studio or an online impression kit. Read below to determine which treatment option is right for you. 

NewMouth recommends Candid because they are the only at-home aligner company that offers the best of both worlds. The brand provides exceptional patient outcomes with industry-leading clinical oversight (CandidMonitoring) at an affordable price point.

Candid Teeth Scans vs. Impression Kits: Which is Better?

There are two ways to begin aligner treatment with Candid. Here are the main differences:

At-Home Impression Kits

The first option is ordering an impression kit online and taking the teeth impressions at home. If you choose this option, Candid will send you detailed, step-by-step video instructions to ensure you take them correctly.

Impression kits are convenient and affordable. However, they have a higher risk for error than in-person scans. This is because you take the impressions yourself using the putty and trays provided.

However, if at-home impressions are 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. 
  2. Read the card labeled '1' for detailed instructions on how to access the tutorial videos.
  3. Submit photos using the smile stretcher.
  4. After you submit all of the photos, you'll receive directions on how to take the teeth impressions. It is essential to watch these videos.
  5. Once the putty is mixed and molded into the tray, place each tray in your mouth for 3 1/2 minutes. There are five impressions total.
  6. Send the impressions back using the prepaid package. You'll want to do this within three days of taking the impressions. 
  7. If you’re approved for treatment, an orthodontist in your area will create a custom treatment plan and send it to you within three weeks. 
  8. You can approve or reject treatment after receiving the plan. You’ll receive a refund on the starter kit if you decide to not follow through with treatment. If you already approved the plan, you cannot get a refund. 

Candid Studio (3D Teeth Scans)

The second option is visiting a Candid Studio for a 3D scan and an in-depth consultation. Scheduling an appointment is 100% risk-free and only takes a couple of minutes to set up. You’ll also have to answer a few questions about your general and oral health status. 

Candid currently has 30+ studio locations in 10 different U.S. states: 

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

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

At the end of the appointment, the Care Specialist will take you through the entire treatment process, including treatment steps and payment options. They will also answer any questions you have regarding treatment. 

The main difference between a Candid Studio visit and a remote starter kit is the impression/scanning process.

With at-home kits, you’ll use trays and putty to make physical molds of your teeth. Then you’ll send them back to Candid within three days using the prepaid package. 

During a studio visit, a Care Specialist will take 3D scans of your teeth, which is a feature that is not possible with at-home impression kits. Detailed x-rays are also taken to evaluate your mouth structure and check for any dental issues. They are completed within a few minutes.

The scanner takes thousands of photos of your mouth per second. The process takes less than 10 minutes and the end result is a detailed digital model of your mouth, teeth, and gums. 

These scans allow Candid to take robust diagnostic records for patients. All of the studios also have panoramic x-ray machines, which give a detailed look into each patient’s mouths. 

The orthodontist creating the treatment plan is able to see what’s going on above and below the gumline, providing more precise tooth movement and results.

Candid Studio
  • A Candid Care Specialist will take photos of your mouth and answer any questions you may have
  • Detailed x-rays are taken to evaluate your mouth structure and check for any dental issues
  • 3D scans are 100% free.Risk-free consultations (you are not required to follow through with treatment)
  • Over 30+ locations in 10 U.S. states
  • 3D scans provide an in-depth look into each patient’s mouth, potentially providing more accurate results
  • No messy impression kits
Impression Kit
  • You take the photos and impressions yourself (Candid will provide step-by-step video instructions)
  • The impression kit is risk-free
  • If you are not a candidate for treatment, you’ll receive a refund
  • You are also not required to follow through with treatment (as long as you haven’t approved the plan yet)
  • The impression kits do not give as detailed of a look into your mouth as 3D scans


Candid. Straighten Your Teeth in an Average of 6 Months.

Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid,

Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid,

Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid,

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