Candid was not the first company to offer clear aligners at home, but when they entered the scene in 2017, they quickly created a name for themselves.
Though they got their start as a fully remote treatment option, Candid has recently pivoted to “CandidPro,” a hybrid at-home/in-office treatment method. Your treatment is administered by a local dentist in the Candid network and overseen remotely via the CandidMonitoring system.
No other aligner company has a program quite like this one. Every two weeks during your treatment, you’ll use your phone to take images of your teeth. The Candid team will review your scans to check on your progress and modify your treatment if necessary. In a way, this makes Candid the best at-home option to mimic the experience you’d get at your local orthodontist’s office.
Treatment oversight is important, but it’s not the only factor on your mind when choosing an aligner company. There’s treatment length, price points, wear requirements, and much more. And there are a lot of companies to consider. Looking at the options can be overwhelming, but this guide makes it easier by outlining the three best Candid alternatives.
Byte | #1
If you’re in a rush to perfect your smile, look no further than Byte. Byte has the shortest treatment lengths in the industry, with an average timeline of just 4 months. But they have plenty of other great qualities, too.
Here are some other notable differences between Candid and Byte:
- Treatment Length: Candid’s average treatment time is 6 months, which matches the industry standard. (There is the off-chance that CandidMonitoring can help speed up your Candid treatment, although you should leave that up to Candid’s team to decide). But that still pales in comparison to Byte, which is twice as fast. Thanks to their HyperByte technology, Byte’s average treatment time is 4 months for daytime treatment and 5 months for nighttime treatment.
- Price & Financing: Byte costs just $1,895 for daytime treatment, and $2,295 for nighttime treatment. Candid, on the other hand, has no set price. The total cost of your treatment will be determined by the dentist overseeing your treatment; but it will be at least $3,500. Don’t have a few grand tucked away in a sock drawer? No problem. Everyone is approved for financing through Byte’s in-house payment plan; BytePay. Here’s how it works: simply make a $249 downpayment, followed by 32 monthly payments of $82. If you opt for Byte At-Night treatment, you’ll make a $299 downpayment and 32 monthly payments of $99. It’s likely you’ll be able to work out a financing agreement with your Candid dentist, but the details will vary from office to office.
- Wear Requirements: Traditional aligners require 22 hours of wear each day. For some people, that can be overwhelming and, quite frankly, a hassle. Byte recognized that hassle and added a nighttime-only treatment alternative, Byte At-Night. With Byte At-Night, you’re only required to wear your aligners for 10 hours each night. Candid doesn’t offer any nighttime treatments.
- Satisfaction Guarantees: Byte has your back; if your teeth shift after your treatment—at any time—Byte will send you new aligners for free. That’s their “Byte for Life” guarantee. Any Candid guarantees will vary from office to office, so be sure to check with your dentist to see what’s available to you.
Candid is a great service, and we don’t really have a lot of negative things to say about them. We do prefer Byte, though. Between their short treatment lengths, their fair value, and their “Byte for Life” guarantee, they win the accolade of our favorite aligner company. However, if you want robust treatment oversight for your own peace of mind, then Candid is the better choice for you.
AlignerCo | #2
For many years, the biggest obstacle to getting braces or aligners has been the sheer cost. AlignerCo makes that excuse obsolete…nearly. They’re the most affordable clear aligner company on the market.
Price point is not the only difference between Candid and AlignerCo, though. Here are the key distinctions to note when choosing between them:
- Price: Candid has no set sticker price; but it’ll cost you at least $3,500. Due to the hybrid nature of this treatment, we don’t think Candid’s treatment is a price gouge in any sense, but it’s certainly a higher price point than any of their competitors—AlignerCo in particular. AlignerCo’s price tag is an affordable $1,145. If you need something budget-friendly, then AlignerCo delivers. That’s even true for their nighttime treatments, which cost just $1,345.
- Wear Requirements: Traditional aligners require 22 hours of wear each day. For some people, that can be overwhelming and, quite frankly, a hassle. AlignerCo recognized that hassle and added a nighttime-only treatment alternative, AlignerCo NightOnly. With NightOnly, you’re only required to wear your aligners for 10 hours each night. Candid doesn’t offer any nighttime treatments.
- Treatment Length: Candid and AlignerCo both have pretty average treatment lengths, but in many cases, Candid is just a touch faster. Their average treatment time clocks in at 6 months, and if your teeth respond well to treatment, you may get the go-ahead to move on to your next aligner a bit sooner than expected. That would speed up your total treatment time a bit. In contrast, AlignerCo’s treatment time ranges from 6 to 11 months (8 to 12 for nighttime treatment).
- Ease of Getting Started: With at-home aligner companies, the typical way to get started is to order an impression kit and make molds of your teeth at home. Unfortunately, that process can be a bit tricky. With AlignerCo, the kit is your only option, but they help you out by offering video sessions to coach you through it. With Candid, you’ll kick off treatment at an in-person appointment with your Candid partnered dentist. They’ll take intraoral scans, photos, and X-rays, and answer any questions you might have. All things considered, it’s a pretty convenient way to get your treatment started. However, if there isn’t a Candid partnered dentist near you, you’ll likely need to choose another provider for your treatment.
AlignerCo and Candid are both great companies, and we like them both—but for vastly different reasons. If affordability is your priority, consider AlignerCo. But if you’re interested in having sophisticated treatment oversight, Candid may be a better fit for you.
Smile Direct Club | #3
Candid is the second-largest home aligner company, and they take second place (at least in terms of size) to Smile Direct. Smile Direct has served more than 1.5 million customers, and they’ve been in business longer than any other home aligner company.
Both Candid and Smile Direct Club make it possible to kickstart your treatment at a convenient in-person appointment. With Candid, this happens at the clinic of a Candid partnered dentist. With Smile Direct, you can kick off treatment at their retail spaces; called SmileShops. At present, there are 300+ SmileShops nationwide, and over 200 dentists in the Candid network.
However, there are a few key differences between Smile Direct and Candid:
- Price: Smile Direct charges a flat of $2,050 for their treatment. You can pay for treatment all at once, or use their in-house financing; SmilePay. Everyone is approved, you’ll just make a $250 downpayment and 26 monthly payments of $89. Candid’s pricing varies from provider to provider; but you’ll pay at least $3,500. It’s likely your dentist will offer a payment plan, but the details will vary from office to office.
- Wear Requirements: Traditional aligners require you to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day. This includes Candid and Smile Direct’s daytime aligners. But 22 hours can be a hassle for some busy adults, so Smile Direct also offers nighttime treatment. If you choose this option, you’ll wear your aligners for just 10 hours each night. However, this schedule extends your overall timeline from 6 months to 10.
- Treatment Oversight: The CandidMonitoring program one-ups Smile Direct’s oversight throughout treatment. Yes, Smile Direct will check in with you periodically, but the virtual check-ins you have with Candid every 10 days allow for more comprehensive treatment oversight. Not to mention you’ll have a local Candid dentist to return to if necessary.
- Refund Policies and Satisfaction Guarantees: Smile Direct has a refund policy and a satisfaction guarantee. For the refund, you have 30 days to change your mind about your aligners and get a full refund. You can also get new aligners to finish your treatment if you’re dissatisfied, provided you followed your treatment plan. With Candid, all these details vary; so be sure to ask about your provider’s specific policies during your free initial consultation.
Between Candid and Smile Direct, we’d have to give the nod to Candid. Yes, Smile Direct has more flexible wear options, but Candid is an all-around good service with good customer reviews. And to us, the treatment oversight you’ll get with Candid is top quality.
Which Candid Alternative Should You Choose?
Candid is a good option, so if you feel drawn towards them, go for it. You’ll get excellent treatment, especially with their CandidMonitoring program. All told, they’re our second favorite service.
That said, our top pick is Byte. They don’t have the same treatment oversight that Candid does, but they do have some other serious perks. For one thing, they offer a fantastic Byte-for-Life guarantee. And they’re the fastest option on the market, too. Clocking in at just 4 months on average, Byte is the go-to choice if you’re in a rush to see your perfect smile. AlignerCo is another great alternative. It’s hard to argue with their affordable price point—for both nighttime and daytime treatment.