Straightening your smile used to require a long list of sacrifices. Between the high costs and frequent in-person appointments, orthodontic treatment has long felt out of reach for a lot of people. Thankfully, clear aligner providers like Candid have swooped in to make teeth-straightening treatment simpler and more accessible.
Candid got their start as a premium at-home clear aligner provider. However, they’ve recently made the switch to “CandidPro,” a hybrid at-home/in-office treatment model that offers all the convenience of an at-home treatment option but with the hands-on attention of a local dentist. But is Candid right for you? In this review we’ll give you the full scoop on Candid and their hybrid clear aligner treatment.
How Does Candid Work?
Candid’s hybrid treatment model is pretty simple. First, you’ll need to make an appointment with one of Candid’s 200+ partnered dentists. At this appointment, your dentist will give you a consultation, take intraoral scans, photos and X-rays, and determine whether or not you’re suitable for treatment.
Your dentist will collaborate with the Candid orthodontic team to craft your personalized treatment plan. Your aligners should be arriving on your doorstep just 3-4 weeks after your consultation. For most people, treatment lasts between 6-9 months. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect when you choose Candid:
- Step 1: Find a Candid dentist near you. Candid has a network of over 200 dentists across the US, and they’re always expanding. Simply visit Candid’s website to find a partnered dentist in your area. Once you’ve found a convenient location, book an appointment and let them know you’re interested in Candid clear aligners.
- Step 2: At your appointment, your dentist will determine if you are suitable for treatment, answer any questions you may have about the process, and take intraoral scans, photos, and X-rays to send to Candid’s orthodontic team.
- Step 3: Your local Candid dentist will then collaborate with Candid’s orthodontic team to build your customized treatment plan.
- Step 4: Pay for your treatment outright, or explore financing options with the partnered dentist office you’re working with.
- Step 5: 3-4 weeks after your consultation your aligners should arrive and you can begin your treatment! You’ll wear your aligners over the next several months and gradually make your way to a straighter smile.
- Step 6: Use your smartphone to take remote scans of your teeth and follow any new instructions you receive from your dentist and/or the Candid team. Continue doing so until your treatment is complete!
What Sets Candid Apart?
When compared to traditional treatments like Invisalign and braces, at-home clear aligners may still seem a bit new fangled. The first at-home clear aligner provider got started in just 2014—after all. Candid got their start in 2017, making them a relative newcomer in an already young industry, but in that short time they’ve already managed to serve over 70,000 patients.
With CandidPro, you’ll have an in-person element to your treatment. You’ll get started with a thorough consultation with a local dentist in the Candid network. Then throughout your treatment, the dentist will work with the Candid team to monitor your progress. Despite the initial in-person appointment, most of your treatment takes place remotely, and is overseen through the CandidMonitoring program (more on that in a minute).
Candid’s hybrid treatment strikes a nice balance between the oversight of in-person care and the convenience of at-home treatment. However, the addition of in-person care means that only those living near Candid’s partnered dentists will be able to choose this option for treatment.
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At-home clear aligners use the technology Invisalign created, but they’ve adapted it into a remote treatment option. These clear aligners apply pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into a straighter smile. But what are these aligners made of? Let’s take a closer look.
Candid used to have their aligners made by ClearCorrect, a trusted dental supply manufacturer. Their aligners are made from a BPA-free, tri-layer thermoplastic plastic called Zendura. Candid recently moved to manufacture their own aligners, but it seems like you can still expect the same high-quality manufacturing as before.
Candid uses aligners that are cut straight across the gumline. Some other aligners are cut to match the scallops of your gums. Those aligners may be less visible, but the straight-cut ones used by Candid are more effective. By “holding on” to your gums as well as your teeth, the aligners have an anchor, so to speak. That means they can exert more force, and in turn, move your teeth faster.
Candid’s aligners have a slightly frosted, matte look to them. We find this to be the most realistic-looking finish on an aligner since it looks more like the naturally porous surface of your tooth. It’s unlikely that people will notice you’re even wearing your Candid aligners; they blend right in!
Candid’s treatment is more comprehensive than their competitors
Most at-home clear aligner providers are only capable of moving the front upper and lower 6 teeth, otherwise known as “the social six.” Candid is the only remote clear aligner company capable of moving all of your teeth — including your molars.
To keep your dentist and the Candid team informed about your progress, Candid offers a robust monitoring system called CandidMonitoring. Here’s how it works: using your smartphone and a special imaging device (included in your treatment bundle), you’ll send virtual biweekly updates for the Candid team and/or your dentist to review.
Candid may have longer treatment times than some fully remote treatment options, but their treatments are over in the blink of an eye compared to traditional methods like braces or Invisalign, which can take anywhere from 18-24 months to complete. Not only do those methods take longer than at-home clear aligners, you’ll also need to attend in-person appointments every 4-8 weeks of your treatment. Candid is much easier to fit into a busy schedule.
By checking in regularly via CandidMonitoring, you may be able to jump to your next aligner sooner than you otherwise could. If your teeth respond well to treatment, then there’s a good chance you can speed up your treatment a bit without risking safety. But please remember: you should never move onto the next aligner without the go-ahead from Candid or the dentist overseeing your treatment.
If you need anything during your treatment, you can contact the Candid support team or the dentist office overseeing your treatment. Candid sets the industry standard when it comes to patient support. Their support reps are helpful and efficient. In fact, Candid’s schedule for support is quite wide: every day from 9 a.m. to 7p.m. That’s right: every day.
You can contact Candid by phone, email, chat, and even on social media. The traditional methods are the fastest, but social media queries usually get a response within 24 hours, which is still pretty quick.
Kicking off your treatment with an in-person consultation can help you start this process with all of your questions answered and your treatment priorities clear. We’ve found that Candid provides prompt, courteous support across the board, and we imagine adding the element of a local dental office has only enhanced that further.
Bang For Your Buck
Candid is typically more affordable than braces and Invisalign, but more expensive than fully remote treatment options. Let’s take a closer look at the impact Candid will have on your wallet.
Your initial Candid consultation is completely free! The purpose of this appointment is to determine your candidacy for treatment, answer your questions, and get all the intake needed to build your treatment plan. You can use Candid’s website to find a partnered dentist to schedule this appointment with.
The total cost of your Candid treatment will vary depending on the dentist you’re working with, but it will be at least $3,500. This covers any office visits you may need, your aligners, the CandidMonitoring system, and whitening foam. That might carry some initial stick shock, but we think it’s a fair price considering the hybrid nature of this treatment option.
Even if Candid is more affordable than Invisalign, it’s still not likely you’ve got $3,500 burning a hole in your pocket. Financing your Candid treatment will depend on the dentist overseeing your care. Though it varies office to office, most dentists will have payment plans available, so be sure to ask about what your options are during your initial consultation.
Since you’ll be working with a local dentist for your Candid treatment, you may be able to benefit from insurance coverage if your plan includes orthodontic benefits. However, some insurance providers consider clear aligner treatment to be “cosmetic” and won’t cover it. But some insurance providers may offer partial coverage. Be sure to contact your insurance company to get to the bottom of whether or not you could be covered for some of your treatment.
You’re investing time and money in a new smile, of course you want to make sure your results last. The best way to preserve your smile post-treatment are retainers. With Candid, you can purchase your post-treatment retainers directly through your Candid dentist.
These retainers are durable, but they won’t last forever. Typically they’ll need to be replaced every 6 months or so, and the price will vary from provider to provider.
The cost and quality of your clear aligner treatment are important, but so is how you’re treated throughout the process. Let’s see what you can expect when you choose Candid for your clear aligner treatment.
Unfortunately, Candid’s new hybrid model of treatment is still so new that there aren’t really any reviews highlighting this particular aspect of treatment. However, Candid’s previous 100% remote treatment option inspired many years of glowing reviews. So even though we don’t have any “Candid Pro” specific feedback to go off of, the reviews praising Candid’s quality results and excellent patient support team should still be taken into account.
It’s important to consider both the good and the bad. So, here are a few of the things patients like about Candid:
- Friendly, knowledgeable support team
- Results looked just as good as traditional braces
- Straightforward treatment
- CandidMonitoring helped them stay on top of treatment
But there are a few drawbacks, too:
- Emails can border on spam
- Discomfort, especially for the first three days
- Email links don’t work well with Firefox
- Kits occasionally go missing
Candid is a reputable alignment system; of all the companies we’ve reviewed, we rank them at #2. Overall, their patients are happy. Of course, things do occasionally go wrong, from shipping errors to emails. But that’s not a make-or-break issue (after all, even the retail giant Amazon has shipping issues now and then!). All told, we think Candid’s positives outweigh their negatives.
Unfortunately a little discomfort is part of the alignment process; you’ll encounter it with any treatment plan—even braces. And provided you wear your aligners as prescribed, your discomfort should be pretty minimal. Candid’s reviews bring discomfort up a fair amount, but typically an over the counter pain reliever should do the trick.
With any clear aligners, the edges can sometimes be a little sharp. Candid may suggest that you use a nail file to sand down any sharp areas that give you trouble, but only move forward with this if you get the go ahead from Candid. Once you get the green light, this can be a simple and cheap way to make treatment more comfortable for yourself.
Candid doesn’t have any overarching guarantees about your treatment. However, due to the sophisticated and frequent treatment oversight, it’s hard to imagine you’d reach the end of your clear aligner journey and be dissatisfied with your results. If you’re looking for specific policies, these will all vary from office to office, so be sure to ask your dentist at your free consultation.
Is Candid right for you? After all, treating your smile is a big decision. You keep it for life! So, you may want to consider some alternatives to Candid. Maybe you’d rather have the convenience of a fully remote treatment, or the comprehensive care of a traditional in-person option. Let’s take a look at some options to keep in mind:
Byte is a fully remote treatment option, and offers the shortest treatment lengths on the market, thanks to their proprietary HyperByte device. They offer both nighttime and full-day wear schedules, too.
Need something more budget-friendly? Check out AlignerCo. With a sticker price of just $1,145, AlignerCo is the most affordable method on the market. Thankfully, they don’t sacrifice quality for their low prices, either. This fully remote option is available for both daytime and nighttime treatment.
Smile Direct Club
With Smile Direct, you can take advantage of a nighttime treatment option to avoid wearing your aligners all day. Despite being a fully remote option, they also have more than 200 office locations across the country, where you can skip the impression kit and have 3D scans taken of your teeth instead.
Should You Use Candid?
Candid has a lot of positives, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use Candid and when you should steer clear.
✔ When to use Candid:
If your condition is mild to moderate, and you want the convenience of remote treatment with a high level of oversight, then Candid may be worth considering for your aligner needs. In many ways, Candid’s hybrid model offers the best of both worlds. Between your local dentist, bi-weekly CandidMonitoring, and the help of Candid’s support team, you can rest assured you have eyes on your treatment every step on the way.
✖ When NOT to use Candid:
If you have a complex bite issue like overbite or a severe case of crowding or spacing, then you’re better suited for a more comprehensive treatment option like braces or Invisalign. Even with their ability to move molars, Candid still can’t take on the same level of severity in cases these options can.
Additionally, this treatment will not be possible if you don’t live near a provider in Candid’s dental network. That being said, Candid has over 200+ partnered clinics, and they’re expanding all the time. So don’t be too discouraged if there isn’t an option near you now, there maybe soon.
All told, Candid is a great option. That’s why they’re our #2 favorite clear aligner provider (second only to Byte). If you’re looking for quality clear aligner treatment with a high level of oversight from start to finish, then Candid is definitely worth a look.
They Scored 4.5/5
- ✔ Fair Overall Value
- ✔ Good Customer Support
- ✔ Thousands of Positive Reviews
- – Compare Your Options
- – Find the Best for You
- – Get Special Discounts
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Candid offer nighttime-only treatment?
With Candid, full time aligner wear is your only option. Basically, whenever you’re not eating or drinking, you should be wearing your aligners. Once you reach the end of your treatment, you’ll wear your post-treatment retainers for 22 hours for the first two weeks. After those two weeks, you should get the go ahead to wear them at night only. If you’re interested in nighttime treatment, check out Byte, AlignerCo, or Smile Direct.
How does Candid compare to Byte, AlignerCo, and Smile Direct?
Byte, AlignerCo, and Smile Direct are all fully remote clear aligner providers. With these options, you mail in an impression (or visit a retail location for a scan, in some cases) and the entirety of your treatment is conducted remotely. If these remote treatment options offer retail scanning locations, the scans are performed by technicians, not by licensed dentists.
With Candid, you’ll kick off your treatment with a dentist in the Candid network. They will answer any questions you may have, take intraoral scans, and determine whether or not your case is suitable for treatment. From then on your treatment will mostly be remote, with a high level of oversight due to their CandidMonitoring program. If any issue arises during your treatment, you can visit your local dentist to sort it out.
Is Candid better than braces and Invisalign?
It all depends on what you mean by “better.” Braces and Invisalign can treat more severe cases than Candid. However, Candid’s hybrid form of treatment offers significant convenience, without compromising on oversight. Even better, at a base price of $3,500, Candid is usually a more affordable option than braces and Invisalign.
Does Candid treatment last forever?
As you age (or during a pregnancy), teeth have a tendency to shift. After you finish your aligner treatment, you’ll need to wear an aftercare retainer to keep your smile in its new position. Aftercare retainers are clear plastic trays like clear aligners, but they’re a bit thicker and more durable.
Will Candid make me talk funny?
With any home aligner system, you have a foreign object in your mouth. That’s unavoidable. So, your mouth might feel a bit funny, and you could have the slightest hint of a lisp. For most people, though, the aligners are minimally invasive and practically imperceptible to others.
How many hours a day should I wear my Candid aligners?
For the first two weeks, you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day. You may experience a little discomfort each time you switch aligners (or if you don’t wear them long enough), but that’s fairly normal.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
Candid does not replace lost aligners. Instead, they recommend that you wear the next aligner in your treatment plan. Just wear that aligner for the time remaining on the lost aligner and then for two more weeks.
Is Candid covered by insurance?
The short answer: it depends on your insurance provider and the Candid dentist you’re working with for treatment. If your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, then you may receive some coverage for your treatment. However some insurance providers classify clear aligners as a cosmetic treatment and refuse to cover it. The best way to know for sure is to contact your insurance provider directly.
How can I contact Candid’s patient support?
You can contact Candid through their social media channels, but for more traditional support, it’s best to contact them via phone at 1-844-295-6915. You can also chat with them on their website. You can also reach out to the dentist office overseeing your treatment.