Candid vs Smile Direct Club: Which Home Aligners Are Best?

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Candid vs smile direct club - best at home aligners

Maria Shepherd

Why use at-home teeth aligners?

At-home teeth aligners have become a popular and convenient way to straighten teeth.

23% of adults in the US feel embarrassed about the condition of their mouth and teeth. But for many people, traditional orthodontic treatment is too expensive or too time-consuming. [1]

At-home teeth aligner treatments also allow you to achieve straighter teeth from the comfort of your own home, gradually realigning them during the day and while you sleep at night.

You also save time and money on in-person orthodontist appointments as your treatment is monitored remotely.

Why are invisible teeth aligners so popular?

Invisible teeth aligners provide a discreet and convenient way to solve crooked or crowded teeth.

On average, you wear them for less time than traditional braces, and they are less expensive. Because they are made of clear plastic, you can also avoid the noticeable appearance of metal braces.

Best at home aligners

What are Candid and Smile Direct Club? 

Candid and Smile Direct Club are two well-known brands that provide at-home teeth aligners.

These companies use a scan or mold of your teeth to create an at-home treatment plan for you. Your personalized aligners are then sent via mail.

Once you receive them, you then wear the aligners for extended periods of time each day for several months.

They are near invisible and exert pressure onto your teeth to gradually push them into a straighter position.

Both Candid and Smile Direct Club monitor the progress of your treatment remotely. 

Candid vs. Smile Direct Club

Candid vs Smile Direct Club Candid aligner review Smile Direct Club Review
Daily wearing time 22 hours per day. 20-22 hours per day.
Nighttime aligners Not available Yes. Worn for 10 hours every night for 10 months.
Total treatment time 6 months on average.  4-6 months on average.
Orthodontist oversight Yes, exclusively orthodontist oversight. No, orthodontist or dentist oversight.
Price $2400 single payment. $1950 single payment.
Monthly payments $99 per month for 24 months with a $399 down payment ($2775 total). $89 per month for 24 months with a $250 down payment ($2386 total).
Impression Kit Cost $95 $59
Monthly Office Visits Required? No – remote check-ins every 10-14 days. No – remote check-ins less frequent. The first check-in is after 90 days.
Safety Offers advanced remote monitoring with a device that clips onto your phone to create dental scans. Uses remote teledentistry.
Materials Zendura, a specific formulation of medical-grade BPA-free plastic.  BPA-free plastic.
Guarantee No 100% guarantee. Extra refinements can be added post-treatment at Candid’s discretion if necessary. No 100% guarantee. Potential free continued treatment at Smile Direct Club’s discretion. Must be requested within 30 days of completing treatment.
Teeth modeling At-home teeth impression kit, or get a free scan at a Candid Studio. At-home teeth impression kit, or get a free 3D scan in a SmileShop.
Extras Free teeth whitening foam included in the treatment. Free whitening treatment included with aligners.
Refund policy Non-refundable once you approve your treatment plan. Refunds accepted if within 30 days of receiving your impression kit/aligners.
External reviews 4.5 out of 5 stars from a total of 1343 customer reviews on 2 independent platforms. 4.8 out of 5 stars from a total of 16,223 reviews on 1 independent platform
Special Offers $65 off home impression kit: Candid $34 off home impression kit: Smile Direct Club

 

Other things to consider

At-home aligners are not suitable for everyone. They work best for cosmetic treatments and mild to moderate teeth misalignment issues.

However, Candid and Smile-Direct Club are two providers that also offer clinics where you can go to get a free scan of your teeth. 

Their doctors look over the scans and let you know if you’re eligible for their home aligner treatments. 

The scans and appointments are offered for free by both companies, so it’s a risk-free way of getting an assessment.

Book a Free Scan

Find a clinic near you: 

Candid Studio Appointments

Smile Shop Appointments

Candid vs Smile Direct Club which is best

Are aligners bad for your teeth?

When used correctly, with adequate oversight from dentists, invisible aligners shouldn’t do any damage to your teeth. However, risks can arise from poor dental hygiene while using aligners, resulting in a higher risk of cavities and gum disease.

The risk with at-home aligners is that remote monitoring might not be enough to detect if something is wrong. The main issues would arise from untreated underlying problems, like tooth decay or gum infections.

It’s best to get a check-up before you start treatment to make sure your teeth are healthy.

Which teeth aligners are best?

Candid and Smile Direct Club are two of the best brands on the market.

Smile Direct Club is best for offering an economical and quick treatment for mild teeth misalignment.

Candid is best for those who want the safety and security of regular check-ins and orthodontist-only oversight.

For more information on teeth aligners, read our round-up of at-home invisible aligner treatments.

Candid vs Smile Direct Club which is best

Candid Home Aligner Review 

Candid are one of the early providers of at-home teeth aligners, founded in 2017 in the USA. 

Their goal is to prioritize the health and safety of their patients during treatments.

This is why, unlike other teeth aligner companies, they offer orthodontist-only supervision of all their remote aligner treatments. 

They also provide advanced remote monitoring through their own teeth scanning device, which is posted to you together with the aligner sets. 

By using this device, along with orthondontic supervision, Candid can replicate in-person orthodontic appointments as closely as possible while also offering the convenience of remote check-ins. 

What are the benefits of Candid home aligner treatments?

  • Can save you time: remote monitoring removes the need for time-consuming in-office orthodontist appointments.
  • Can save you money: Candid is cheaper than traditional orthodontic treatments like braces.
  • Faster treatment: Candid takes an average of 6 months to complete your treatment, whereas traditional braces can take up to 2 years. 
  • Orthodontist-only supervision: Orthodontists specialize in the alignment of the teeth and jaws. They also have several years more training than dentists. Candid work exclusively with orthodontists, whereas other companies might use general dentists and doctors. Dentists focus on the general health of your teeth rather than their positioning.
  • Advanced remote monitoring: Candid are the only brand that provides you with a device that you clip onto your phone to send dental scans to your assigned orthodontist every 10-14 days. 
  • Safety: Candid have a rigorous assessment procedure before accepting you as a customer. A testament to their commitment to prioritize safety over sales. 
  • Additional aligners provided: If you have followed your treatment correctly, but you have not achieved the results shown in your 3D treatment plan, Candid will, at their discretion, provide additional aligners, called ‘Refinements.’ These should be requested within 30 days of completing the treatment.

Candid aligner review - at home teeth aligners

$65 off impression kit: Candid

How does Candid work?

Create your aligner treatment plan

To get started with Candid, you’ll first need to get an assessment of your teeth.

You can do this by getting a free scan at a Candid Studio or by ordering an at-home impression kit.

Once you send off your kit, or once your scan is done, Candid’s orthodontists will create a treatment plan specifically for your teeth.

You get to see a 3D preview of the treatment and the end result for your teeth. Then, if you approve the plan, your invisible aligners will be created and posted to you. A teeth whitening treatment is also included in your package.

Wear Candid aligners consistently

You’ll have to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day, and your orthodontist will check on your progress every 10-14 days to make sure everything is going smoothly.

Complete regular virtual check-ins

Candid use remote monitoring technology, making it easy to send scans of your teeth to your orthodontist without leaving your home.

You can use your smartphone, along with the attachment device that Candid provides, to take and send photos of your teeth. Your orthodontist will then review your progress and check your overall oral wellbeing. 

Retain the results

After your treatment is completed, you’ll need to wear a retainer to keep your teeth in line.

Your first retainer is included in the initial price of your Candid treatment.

After that, you need to purchase retainers at $99 each. Retainers last roughly six months, depending on how well they are cared for. 

How long does Candid take to straighten teeth?

Candid treatments can take up to 11 months, but the average successful treatment time is around 6 months.

Candid aligner review - at home teeth aligners

$65 off impression kit: Candid

How much is Candid?

When paid upfront, the cost is $2400 for the Candid aligners, teeth whitening treatment, and first set of retainers.

If you order the at-home starter kit rather than visiting one of their Studios for your initial scan, then this will cost an additional $95 (although Candid offer regular discounts on their starter kits).

After treatment, any retainers after the first set would need to be purchased separately at $99 each. These need replacing every 6 months or so. 

How much is Candid a month?

You can also pay for Candid aligners monthly at $99 a month for 24 months.

This involves a $399 down payment at the start of the treatment, taking the overall cost to $2775 in total.

Candid aligner review - at home teeth aligners

$65 off impression kit: Candid

Will my insurer cover Candid?

It depends on your provider and your policy, but your insurer may well cover part of the cost of the Candid aligners.

For in-network customers, you can save up to $1,300 upfront on Candid treatments.

Candid is currently in-network with Aetna and Anthem (including Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Empire BlueCross, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield).

Once you have confirmed whether your insurer covers home aligner treatments and Candid aligners in particular, Candid even offers to file the insurance claim for you. 

Candid aligner review - at home teeth aligners

$65 off impression kit: Candid

Candid independent customer reviews

Candid scores 4.5 out of 5 stars from a total of 1343 customer reviews on two independent platforms (Consumer Affairs and Best Company).

Most customers were impressed by the customer service and clear communication provided by Candid.

Many reported they were pleased with the end result of Candid’s teeth straightening treatment and felt that they were in safe hands throughout.

In particular, customers noted that the price and convenience of Candid made them an excellent choice for their lifestyle.

One customer said the care they received was ‘incredible,’ while another states that their orthodontist’s feedback was ‘great.’

Here’s what two reviewers had to say about Candid:

Candid aligner customer review

Candid aligner customer review

$65 off home impression kits: Candid Offer

 

Is Candid worth it?

The safety and reliability that Candid provides by offering orthodontist-only supervision and comprehensive remote check-ins make Candid aligners worth it. 

Using only registered orthodontists rather than general dentists to monitor your progress ensures you have the best possible professional care throughout your treatment.

And this care is further enhanced by Candid’s unique device that allows you to send regular scans to your orthodontist from your smartphone.

They are not the cheapest home aligners on the market, but they are the only provider we have come across to guarantee this orthodontic oversight and offer their own advanced remote monitoring device. 

Compared to traditional orthodontic treatments, which cost around $5000, Candid is an economical choice, at $2400.

You’ll also save time by skipping the in-office orthodontist appointments, making Candid convenient for those with busy lifestyles.

Candid Special Offer

$65 off home impression kits: Candid Offer

Candid vs Smile Direct Club which is best

Smile Direct Club Home Aligner Review 

Smile Direct Club was founded in 2014 and is one of the most well-known home aligner providers. Since beginning they have provided over 1 million aligners to customers looking to achieve straighter teeth.

They have become the largest at-home invisible aligner company. Today they work with hundreds of dental professionals to provide remote teledentistry to their customers.

Smile Direct Club’s mission is to provide convenient and affordable teeth straightening solutions for those who cannot or do not wish to access traditional orthodontic treatment.

Why are Smile Direct Club so Popular?

Smile Direct Club are popular because they are among the most economical and fastest-working home aligner treatments on the market. 

  • Affordable treatments: Smile Direct Club is one of the most affordable options for clear aligners, so they can be a good choice for those on a budget. Treatments cost $1950 upfront or $89 per month for 2 years.
  • Fast treatment times: Smile Direct Club’s invisible aligners can straighten your teeth quicker than traditional braces.
  • Convenient remote monitoring: Every aspect of this treatment can be done from home. Once your mold or scan is complete, you’ll receive your aligners in the mail. All the monitoring is remote, so you don’t have to make time for any in-office appointments. You’ll be able to track your progress online.
  • Nighttime only aligners: Smile Direct Club allows you to choose between regular or nighttime-only aligners. Smile Direct’s standard Clear Aligners are worn for 22 hours per day, and your total treatment time will take around 4-6 months. Nighttime Clear Aligners are for 10 hours every night while you sleep. This option is best for people who want the most discrete treatment available. Note that the nighttime treatment plan is slightly longer, at around 10 months.

 

Smile Direct Club Nighttime Aligners

$25 impression kit: Smile Direct Club

How much does Smile Direct Club Cost per month?

Smile Direct Club costs $85 per month for 24 months through their monthly financing option called SmilePay. You also pay a $250 down-payment at the start of the treatment.

With SmilePay, the total cost of Smile Direct Club’s treatment is $2386. This doesn’t include the price of an at-home starter kit and any follow-up retainers.

A single up-front payment to SmileDirect is the cheaper option, at $1950.

Which is cheaper, Candid or Smile Direct Club?

Smile Direct Club is the cheaper at-home teeth straightening treatment out of the two brands. Plans are priced at $1950 compared to $2400 for Candid.

Smile Direct Club Nighttime Aligners

$25 impression kit: Smile Direct Club

How to get started with Smile Direct Club

Create your aligner treatment plan

To begin your Smile Direct Club treatment, you’ll need to check if you’re a good candidate for home aligners. 

To do this, you can use their website to order an at-home teeth impression kit to make a mold of your teeth. 

An at-home impression kit costs $59, but the cost will be refunded to you if you are unsuitable for their treatment. 

You can also make an appointment for a free dental scan at a SmileShop near you.

Their dental experts will then assess your teeth to create your specialized treatment plan. Your clear aligners will be mailed to your home within 4-5 weeks.

Wear Smile Direct Club aligners consistently

If you’ve opted for the Clear Aligner plan, you’ll need to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day.

With the Nighttime Aligner plan, you’ll wear them for 10 hours per night.

As you wear your aligners, pressure will be applied to your teeth to shift them gradually into the desired position.

Retain the results

After you have completed your treatment, you will need to wear retainers to keep your teeth straight.

The price of retainers is not included in the price of your treatment. They cost $99 from Smile Direct Club and should be replaced every 6 months.

Smile Direct Club Nighttime Aligners

$25 impression kit: Smile Direct Club

How long do Smile Direct Club treatments take to straighten teeth?

Smile Direct Club treatments usually take around 6 months to complete, or 10 months with their Nighttime Aligners. 

This timescale can vary depending on your personalized plan.

You’ll be told roughly how long your treatment will take after your dental scan or impression has been assessed by Smile Direct Club’s dental professionals.

Smile Direct Club Nighttime Aligners

$25 impression kit: Smile Direct Club

Smile Direct Customer Reviews

Smile Direct Club scored 4.8 out of 5 stars from a total of 16,973 customer reviews on Trustpilot. Customers enjoyed the simple and easy process of beginning their treatment with Smile Direct Club.

Many customers praised the excellent customer service provided by the staff in the SmileShop, where the initial dental scan is carried out.

Some customers said they experienced some pain during the treatment or found the aligners to be quite thick. While some discomfort is to be expected, the aligners shouldn’t feel painful. So consult with Smile Direct Club or your orthodontist if that is the case.

Most customers seem to be delighted with Smile Direct Club, from the customer service provided to their new and improved teeth.

Here’s what a couple of reviewers had to say:

Smile Direct Club Review

$25 impression kit for a limited time (free after rebate): Smile Direct Club

Is Smile Direct Club worth the money?

Smile Direct Club are worth the money as they are one of the cheapest home aligner providers on the market. They are also the largest and most established remote aligner company, so their service has been tried and tested by over a million customers over the years. 

They offer the convenience of at-home teeth straightening treatments, monitored by their dentists and orthodontists but without the cost and hassle of regular in-office dental appointments.

Smile Direct Club Offer

$25 home impression kit for a limited time (free after rebate): Smile Direct Club

Candid vs Smile Direct Club which is best

Is Candid better than Smile Direct Club?

Candid and Smile Direct Club are both reliable providers of at-home aligners. Either one could be a good choice, but there are some key differences between them.

Smile Direct Club is the better option in terms of price – as their aligners cost $1950, versus Candid’s $2400. They could also be more convenient as they offer nighttime-only aligner options along with their all-day options. 

However, if safety and treatment monitoring is your priority, Candid could be the better option. They are unique in that they only use registered orthodontists to supervise your aligner treatment, whereas other providers use both orthodontists and dentists.

They also provide their own remote monitoring device, which clips onto your smartphone to capture accurate images of your teeth. This allows for a more precise assessment of your ongoing progress to be sent to your doctor.

Which at-home teeth aligner kit is best for you?

If treatment speed is paramount, then Smile Direct is slightly faster with an average time of 4-6 months, whereas Candid’s treatment takes a minimum of 6 months.

Only Smile Direct offer nighttime aligners, so if you don’t want to wear aligners during the day, they are your best option. (It’s worth noting that your average treatment time will increase to 10 months with Smile Direct’s nighttime aligners.)

In terms of guarantees, both Smile Direct Club and Candid offer corrective aligners when needed during the treatment. However, these are provided at the discretion of each company and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Smile Direct Club also offers a limited lifetime guarantee. They will provide additional aligners if your teeth move out of position, provided you have worn your retainers consistently following the treatment.

Whichever company you chose, it’s time to stop feeling embarrassed by the state of your teeth and smile.

Say cheese!

Candid Special Offer

$65 off home impression kits: Candid Offer

Smile Direct Club Offer

$25 home impression kit for a limited time (free after rebate): Smile Direct Club

Candid FAQs

Does Candid actually work?

Candid does work for many people, as shown in the independent customer reviews of the service. Success rates, however, will depend on whether you complete the treatment and wear your aligners for 22 hours every day.

Is Candid FDA approved?

Candid uses FDA-approved aligners manufactured by ClearCorrect. 

Is Candid safe for your teeth?

Candid is safe for your teeth if you follow their guidelines during your treatment. 

Does Candid whiten teeth?

Candid provides a gentle whitening foam with your treatment. 

Can you drink coffee with Candid aligners?

Candid say it is possible to eat and drink in your aligners, as long as you rinse them with cool water and brush and floss your teeth before you replace them.

Do Candid offer nighttime aligners? 

Candid choose not to offer nighttime-only aligners. They are concerned about whether it is good for teeth to have a force put on them for 10 hours of the night but no force on them during the day. There is no evidence yet either way, and many aligner companies offer nighttime-only aligners as a convenient option. [2]

 

 

Candid Special Offer

$65 off home impression kits: Candid Offer

Smile Direct Club FAQs 

Is Smile Direct Club safe?

Smile Direct Club is safe if you follow their guidance during your treatment and if you have no other underlying dental issues before starting the treatments.

Is Smile Direct Club legit?

Yes, Smile Direct Club is a legitimate at-home teeth aligner company. They are one of the largest providers of clear aligners and have been around for over seven years. 

Does Smile Direct Club really work?

Smile Direct Club does work to straighten teeth that need mild to moderate re-alignment. According to thousands of customer reviews, Smile Direct Club has been an effective teeth-straightening solution.

How bad does Smile Direct hurt?

Smile Direct doesn’t hurt badly for most customers. Mild discomfort seems to be the norm. 

Is Smile Direct FDA approved?

Smile Direct Club has stated that they follow FDA regulations.

Does Smile Direct give you a lisp?

It might do, but if it does, it will only be minor. Once you get used to wearing the aligners, the lisp will reduce or disappear.

Can I use Smile Direct if I have cavities?

You shouldn’t use Smile Direct until after you have your cavities treated. Pre-existing dental issues could get worse or cause complications during any clear aligner treatment. 

Can Smile Direct Club fix all teeth?

No, Smile Direct Club is intended primarily as a cosmetic treatment for mild alignment issues. You can see if you are a good candidate for their aligners by booking a free scan at your local SmileShop or by ordering a home impression kit.

Smile Direct Club Offer

$25 home impression kit for a limited time (free after rebate): Smile Direct Club

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