20 years ago, clear aligners became the superhero of modern orthodontics. They rescued adults everywhere from the unsightly wires & brackets of traditional braces, replacing them with smooth, clear plastic aligners.
The most well-known option is Invisalign, but they don’t have a monopoly on the market. One of their earliest competitors was ClearCorrect, and in recent years, at-home treatments have become equally attractive options.
At-home clear aligner brands like Candid offer a faster and more affordable treatment alternative for busy adults on a budget.
But how do these competitors—ClearCorrect and Candid—compare? That’s the question we’re here to answer.
In this comparison review, we’ll put Candid and ClearCorrect side by side to see how they stack up in terms of cost, treatment speed, customer friendliness, and more. By the time we’re finished, you’ll have a much clearer image of which company better lines up with your needs!
Candid wins! We think Candid’s Remote Monitoring services and lower price point make them a better option than ClearCorrect for most young adults.
That said, at $2,400, Candid still costs significantly more than other home teeth straightening services. If you’re interested in remote orthodontic care, be sure to compare all the top-rated providers before making a decision.
4 Things They Have in Common
ClearCorrect and Candid are two very different companies, but they do have similar products. It comes as no surprise, then, that they have a few things in common:
1) Discreet: Both ClearCorrect and Candid are far less noticeable than braces. Trade wires and brackets for clear aligners and that’s bound to happen. Some people find that they ‘lisp’ a little bit when they first start wearing the aligners, but most people adjust pretty quickly. Most users find that other people rarely (if ever) spot their aligners.
2) Safe: We’re talking about the future of your smile here, so safety is crucial. But rest assured, both ClearCorrect and Candid are safe ways to straighten your teeth. Both companies use similar technologies and although ClearCorrect has a few add-ons that Candid doesn’t, the basic principle of both is the same. Both companies use safe, BPA-free plastic in their aligners and dental professionals to design your treatment.
3) Convenient: If you ever talk to a friend who had braces back in the day, you’ll probably hear horror stories about avoiding popcorn or gum, the pains of dislodging food from the wires, and other hassles. Clear aligners take these hassles down several notches. You’ll have to remove your aligners every time you eat or drink (excluding water), but you’ll get to eat all of your favorite foods. And cleaning your teeth is just as simple as ever, too. Just pop out your aligners to brush and floss, then reinsert them.
4) Insurance Coverage: Both ClearCorrect and Candid may be covered by your insurance. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, there’s a good chance you can receive partial coverage. Some general dental policies may cover your treatment, too. However, insurance providers are more likely to cover in-office treatments like ClearCorrect than at-home ones like Candid.
5 Ways They Differ
This wouldn’t be a comparison review if these two companies didn’t have a few differences, now, would it? Here are a few key differences between ClearCorrect and Candid:
1) Who can get treatment: One of the biggest differences between ClearCorrect and Candid is who can receive treatment. Candid can treat only mild to moderate cases of crowding and spacing. More extensive cases—like those caused by an overbite, underbite, or misshapen jaw—need to be monitored in-person by an orthodontist. ClearCorrect, however, can handle the full gamut of cases, from mild to severe.
2) Cost: There is no one-size-fits-all price tag for ClearCorrect. That’s because your price depends on your orthodontist’s personal fees and the severity of your case. The more severe your case, the more it will cost. They also have an option called Flex for mild cosmetic cases that is often significantly cheaper. On average, most people will spend between $2,500 and $5,000. With Candid, though, there are very few overhead costs, so your treatment will be a bit more affordable: $2,400.
3) Treatment Time: ClearCorrect’s average treatment times range between 12 to 18 months, although Flex may take as little as a few months. Candid is a bit faster, with their quickest times clocking in at roughly 6 months, which is about average for the industry. However, their CandidMonitoring service might allow you to progress through your aligners quicker, shortening the overall timeline.
4) One-on-one care: The biggest disadvantage of at-home aligner companies like Candid is that you don’t actually meet in-person with an orthodontist. That can make it tough to individualize your treatment. CandidMonitoring is a nice touch, but it’s not quite the same as in-person care. With ClearCorrect, you’ll have direct, in-person care from your orthodontist each time you visit the office.
5) Financing: Both Candid and ClearCorrect offer financing. ClearCorrect partners with beWell, which can require a credit check; alternatively, you might be able to get a customized plan directly from your dental provider. With Candid, you have some flexibility for your financing plans. Depending on your credit score and preferences, you can opt for a plan with 0% APR or, if your credit score isn’t as good, you can go the downpayment route instead.
Company Track Records
Invisalign was the first clear aligner option, but ClearCorrect followed closely on their heels. In 2006, founder Dr. William Pumphrey realized that over 400 patients needed clear aligners, but there wasn’t a good manufacturer in line to fill that need. So Dr. Pumphrey made a critical decision: he was going to produce his own. The rest is pretty much history. Now ClearCorrect is the second-largest clear aligner producer in the industry.
What really stands out about ClearCorrect’s treatment is the wide variety of conditions they can correct. That’s largely due to the attachments and extra plastics that your dentist or orthodontist can use. These ‘extras’ are attached to your teeth and work in conjunction with your clear aligners to create powerful, nuanced movements. Your dentist or orthodontist can also add any spacers, elastics, or other attachments you may need. That flexibility and technology allow ClearCorrect to treat more extreme cases.
Compared to ClearCorrect, Candid is much, much newer. But “newer” doesn’t mean they’re inexperienced! In fact, since their inception in 2017, Candid has grown to become the second-largest home aligner company (only Smile Direct Club is bigger). Plus, they combine their size with a charitable partnership with Smile Train to make an incredible social impact.
One of our favorite Candid features is their CandidMonitoring program. This program—newly introduced in 2020—is a good accommodation for the biggest weakness of at-home aligner treatments. It provides orthodontist oversight throughout your treatment. It’s still at home, though; you’ll use your smartphone and a special imaging device to take pictures of your teeth for regular “check-ins” with your orthodontist. This keeps your treatment on track and can even reduce your overall treatment time.
With both Candid and ClearCorrect, you’ll get access to a top-notch dental treatment team, and you’ll achieve the smile of your dreams before you know it. But exactly how you reach that dream smile will vary depending on which treatment you use.
With ClearCorrect, you’ll go to your orthodontist’s office for regular treatments—from step one to your post-treatment retainers. If needed, your orthodontist will add on any attachments. And if anything seems off, your treatment provider will adjust your plan on the fly. It’s the best way to get individualized, prompt care.
Candid works a bit differently; the entirety of your treatment occurs from the comfort of your own home. The only exception is if you visit a Candid Studio instead of taking impressions. But everything else happens at home: taking impressions, reviewing your treatment plan, wearing and swapping out your aligners, and starting your post-treatment retainers.
With a lot of at-home clear aligner companies, that’s all there is. But Candid takes things a step further with their CandidMonitoring program. We won’t go into a ton of details here, but essentially, you’ll use your smartphone and a special imaging device to take images of your teeth. Your images are reviewed, and if your teeth look good, you might get the go-ahead to move onto your next aligner ahead of schedule.
Candid’s CandidMonitoring strikes a nice balance between the convenience of at-home clear aligners and the security of regular orthodontist oversight.
No two smiles are created equal, so no two smiles get treated equally. That means that your treatment prognosis will be quite different from someone else’s. How long you’ll wear your aligners will largely depend on your condition’s severity and complexity. Then, of course, there’s your own wear schedule to think about; if you follow your treatment to a ‘T,’ you’ll finish faster than if you were to wear your aligners inconsistently.
That said, each company has its own speed factor. Here are the average treatment times for ClearCorrect and Candid:
- ClearCorrect: 12 to 18 months for traditional treatment, but can be shorter with Flex
- Candid: 6 months, but could be faster
Why the discrepancy in treatment times? It’s partly due to the fact that ClearCorrect usually handles tougher cases (which naturally take longer). That said, ClearCorrect’s Flex treatment for milder cases can last just a few months.
With Candid, it’s hard to know exactly how long your treatment will take. If your teeth respond well to treatment, your orthodontist may tell you to move on to your next aligner a few days early. Over the course of your entire treatment, this can cut a few weeks off your timeline. In most cases, Candid is faster than ClearCorrect, but Flex can create a few exceptions.
Pricing & Features
A million-dollar smile is exciting, but it shouldn’t cost you a million bucks. The overall price tag of each service matters, and it’s also important to consider what your money gets you. Every treatment option comes with a few basic costs: the cost of treatment itself, and the cost for post-treatment retainers. We’ll cover those here.
Treatment start-up costs
- ClearCorrect, price varies: To kick off your ClearCorrect treatment, you’ll need to have an initial consultation with your dentist or orthodontist of choice. The cost of this consultation largely depends on your individual provider. Some orthodontists may do it for free, and others will charge a nominal fee. It’s up to them.
- Candid, FREE or $95: With Candid, you have two methods to start off your treatment. You can either buy an impression kit to make molds of your teeth at home. If so, you’ll need to pay $95 (or less if you catch a sale). Some people find the impression process a bit tricky, though. So, Candid came up with a solution: instead of taking impressions, you can visit a Candid Studio for free. There, they’ll take images of your teeth for you. Customers really love the experience they have at the studios, so if you live near one, it’s well worth it.
- ClearCorrect, $2,500-$5,000 (average): ClearCorrect’s actual cost largely depends on your dentist’s or orthodontist’s fees and how much treatment you need to perfect your smile. Your orthodontist or dentist will give you a full quote before you start treatment. But if you use Flex, you’ll pay per aligner, which means your treatment could cost significantly less.
- Candid, $2,400: Once you agree to treatment, Candid will send you your full aligner kit, from Step 1 to your last aligner. Other at-home aligners charge closer to $1,900-2,000, so Candid may seem a bit pricey by comparison. But that extra ~$500 will cover your CandidMonitoring program, so we think it’s worth it. They also throw in a free bottle of whitening treatment. And even with their extra cost, Candid is still cheaper than ClearCorrect.
- ClearCorrect, price varies: Like everything else with ClearCorrect, your cost for post-treatment retainers will largely depend on what your orthodontist or dentist charges. Ask before you begin treatment so you can plan for any future expenses.
- Candid, FREE: Candid includes your first set of post-treatment retainers for free with the purchase of your aligner kit. That’s a big plus, since you’ll need it to keep your newly-perfected smile in position for a lifetime. However, the retainers don’t last forever. Whenever you need a replacement (we recommend every six months), you can pick up another for $99.
ClearCorrect treatment isn’t an all-out price gouge, but it isn’t the most budget-friendly option. Candid isn’t, either. However, we think the price point is fair. For mild cases, ClearCorrect and Candid have similar price points: $2,400 (Candid) compared to $2,500 (ClearCorrect). For tougher cases, though, Candid is more affordable.
No one wants to have issues with their treatment. But sometimes, life happens. An aligner could break or get lost, payment information could change – you get the idea. When life happens, you’ll need to get in contact with customer support.
There isn’t an overarching “customer support” method for ClearCorrect. Instead, you’ll contact your chosen dentist or orthodontist whenever you have questions about your treatment, payment, lost aligners, and so on. He or she knows the ins and outs of your case, so if you need to get a repair, replacement, or treatment modification, your local provider is the best way to get it.
Candid, on the other hand, is completely remote. So whenever you have a question about your treatment, you need to replace an aligner, or you need to change credit card information for your monthly payments, you’ll have to contact their customer support team. They offer traditional support methods: phone, email, and webchat. Their customer support hours are from 9:00 am to 7:00, even on weekends. If you contact them through social media, you should get a response within 24 hours. The more ‘traditional’ channels are usually a touch faster; a phone call, for example, will get you an almost immediate response.
Even though you can’t contact ClearCorrect’s customer support directly, we think that the one-on-one care you’d get from your personal dentist or orthodontist provides better support than remote treatment. However, Candid’s CandidMonitoring model provides a great substitute for in-person care.
Office Visits – Are They Worth The Extra Cost?
Regular office visits are the biggest difference between in-office treatments like ClearCorrect and at-home ones like Candid. As part of your ClearCorrect treatment, you’ll need to visit your dentist or orthodontist every few weeks so they can evaluate your progress, add attachments, and make timeline adjustments if necessary.
And while this helps ensure effective, safe treatment, it also makes ClearCorrect less affordable and convenient. Office visits are the primary reason in-office treatments are more expensive. Your dentist’s time, equipment and resources aren’t free, after all. Plus, fitting regular appointments into your busy schedule (and potentially taking time off work) isn’t ideal. The fully-remote service you’ll get from at-home treatments is much more convenient, and without office visit costs, much cheaper too.
Ease of Getting Started
Like we alluded to earlier, there are different ways to kick off your ClearCorrect or Candid treatment.
With ClearCorrect, the ‘trickiest’ part of starting your treatment is finding your nearest ClearCorrect provider and booking a consultation. There’s a good chance your local dentist provides it (or, at the very least, they can refer you). After that, the provider will handle all the technical aspects of taking scans, x-rays, and molds of your teeth at your appointment. You just have to show up, answer questions, and, of course, keep your mouth open when asked.
Some customers report that using Candid’s impression kits can be a tad more complicated, since you need to take the impressions on your own. Once your kit arrives, you’ll use the included trays and putty to make molds of your teeth. Then you’ll take a few pictures so your orthodontist can get a good look at your teeth from different angles. If you have questions, you can arrange a video chat so that a Candid staff member can walk you through the process. When you’re done, send back your finished impressions (they include a prepaid shipping label) and Candid’s orthodontists will use them to create an individualized treatment plan.
But Candid also offers Candid Studios, physical retail locations that give free teeth scans. These locations make it as simple as possible to get started, and a lot of customers love the service they get. The only “drawback” is that the Studios aren’t everywhere—mostly major cities. But Candid is adding locations left and right, so one may pop up near you soon.
In the age of Amazon and other Internet retailers, online shopping is pretty common. But savvy shoppers are careful to read online reviews before clicking “Buy.” This is especially important for Candid, which you can only purchase online. Your orthodontist can give a professional opinion on ClearCorrect, but it is still nice to hear the opinions of others who’ve used the system.
Here’s a quick glimpse into the online reviews for Candid:
- Top loves: excellent customer service, both remotely and in Candid Studios; helpful communication throughout the process via their app; convenient, effective treatment
- Top complaints: Database does not work with Firefox browser; a little more discomfort than other aligners; emails can get spammy
We tallied up Candid’s total average score for a total of 4.2/5 stars.
It’s a bit harder to tally up a score for ClearCorrect. There are precious few customer reviews online because treatment is provided through independent dental offices. It’s easiest to get a full review (beyond what we’ve included here) directly from your dentist or orthodontist. That said, their long-term reputation speaks pretty well to their quality and service.
Overall, Candid has a pretty good reputation, too. And thanks to their CandidMonitoring program, we expect that their reputation will continue to be good, especially compared to other at-home options.
Refunds & Guarantees
No one wants a purchase to go wrong, and when it comes to your teeth, your satisfaction is critical.
With ClearCorrect, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be too dissatisfied with your treatment. That’s because your orthodontist or dentist will be able to make small adjustments throughout the process. If there are any issues, your dentist will spot them before they become major problems, keeping your treatment on track and ensuring your satisfaction.
That said, the exact warranty you’ll get will depend on your individual provider. You’ll have to ask your orthodontist or dentist to know for sure.
Candid’s Satisfaction Guarantee
Candid has only one true refund policy—you’ll get your money back on the impression kit if it turns out you’re not a candidate for treatment. Other than that, your payment is final. However, Candid does want to ensure that you’re satisfied. So, if you reach the end of your treatment and you’re not satisfied with the results, you can request a correction. Unlike some companies, Candid does not charge you for any corrections to your treatment. They’ll cover the cost of additional aligners to make sure you get the smile you expected.
ClearCorrect and Candid are both great companies, so if you’re drawn to either one, you’ll get excellent service. However, these two aren’t the only good options.
If you’re still curious about other companies, we’d recommend checking out Byte, our top-ranked at-home aligner company. They leverage excellent value with an equally good product, and they’re a bit cheaper than Candid (by about $500). In a rush to see your perfect smile? Byte is the only choice. Their average treatment time clocks in at a speedy 3 months. Byte also offers nighttime-only treatment, so if you’re unsure about wearing aligners for 22+ hours per day, you have an alternative.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for the most affordable option, check out AlignerCo. At just $1,145, they’re the most budget-friendly method and our #2 pick behind Byte. You won’t get a lot of bells and whistles, but you will get the smile of your dreams at a fraction of the cost. And like Byte, they also offer nighttime treatment, but it doesn’t cost nearly as much. AlignerCo’s NightOnly program will run you $1,345.
Which is Best for You?
Let’s be clear: ClearCorrect and Candid are both good options. However, what works for someone else may not be what’s best for you. Here are some general guidelines for who should choose ClearCorrect and who should opt for Candid:
- Choose Candid If: You want the effectiveness of in-office orthodontist oversight paired with the cheaper price and greater convenience of at-home treatment. With Candid, you get a nice mix of both.
- Choose ClearCorrect If: You need more extensive adjustments, bite corrections, or you just want the security of having a professional handle your treatment in person.
If you discover that your condition is too severe for home aligner treatment, or if you’re simply more comfortable with in-person care, ClearCorrect is a great option. That said, Candid is more affordable, convenient, and in our opinion, offers better value overall.
We think Candid’s CandidMonitoring services and lower price point make them a better option than ClearCorrect for most young adults.That said, at $2,400, Candid still costs significantly more than other home teeth straightening services. If you’re interested in remote orthodontic care, be sure to compare all the top-rated providers before making a decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either aligner kit offer discounts?
ClearCorrect doesn’t really offer discounts in the traditional sense. However, your individual provider may give you benefits or perks as part of your treatment. Candid isn’t known for their discounts, either, but you can occasionally score impression kit discounts through their emails or online coupons. They also run occasional contests for free aligner kits, but you’ll usually pay sticker price.
Which clear aligner is more customer-focused?
Technically speaking, ClearCorrect is more customer-focused. After all, you’ll work directly with an orthodontist or dentist, getting individualized attention along the way. However, Candid’s CandidMonitoring service is the next best thing. You get better treatment oversight with them than other clear aligner companies.
How exactly does at-home teeth alignment work?
At-home aligner kits like the one from Candid borrow the technology Invisalign pioneered. When you send in your impressions (or visit a Studio for scans), Candid uses those molds and advanced software to create an individualized treatment plan. That technology can predict exactly how your teeth will move when you switch to the next aligner in your kit. Using each new aligner as a step in the process, Candid gradually moves your teeth from their initial positions to their final destination.
Is there an age requirement for using either ClearCorrect or Candid?
ClearCorrect does not post an explicit age requirement for their treatment; your dentist or orthodontist will consider age on a case-by-case basis. Candid, on the other hand, will treat anyone age 16 and up provided all of their baby teeth are gone. Both companies must receive parental consent before treating a minor.
Can I use ClearCorrect or Candid if I live outside the USA?
Both Candid and ClearCorrect are limited to the United States. If you live abroad, you may want to look into Invisalign or Smile Direct, which are available in other countries.
How do I know whether at-home or in-office treatment is right for me?
Unless your case is very severe, you’re probably a good candidate for at-home aligner treatment through Candid. You can also take a preliminary assessment on Candid’s website. If you purchase an impression kit and it turns out that you’re not a good candidate for treatment, Candid will refund you the cost of the kit.
Will either of these clear aligners make me talk funny?
Most clear aligner users find that their aligners are practically imperceptible to others, including during conversation. That said, some people find that they may speak with a slight lisp when they’re first adjusting to their aligners. After a couple of days, this feeling usually goes away.
If I lose my aligners during or after treatment, do I have to pay for new ones?
Candid doesn’t replace an aligner if you lose one during treatment. Instead, you’ll just wear your previous aligner until it’s time to move on to the next step. ClearCorrect, however, depends on your individual provider. Your dentist or orthodontist should be your go-to if you lose an aligner. You’ll likely need to pay for a new one, but how much depends on your provider’s policies.
Can I drink coffee when using ClearCorrect or Candid?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from Candid and ClearCorrect are fairly resilient, but coffee is good at creating stains. Drinking coffee with your aligners in—or any beverage besides water, for that matter—puts you at the risk of staining them.
Are there any hidden costs?
Neither Candid nor ClearCorrect has a whole lot of hidden costs. There will be costs if you lose an aligner, but that’s an added expense that you can prevent. One cost you might not be expecting is post-treatment retainers. Candid offers the first set for free, but ClearCorrect’s retainer cost will depend on your individual provider.
Are at-home aligners as effective as in-office treatment?
In most mild and moderate cases, yes. Thanks to the tested technologies used by remote treatment companies like Candid, your aligners will fit your teeth as snugly as they would with ClearCorrect. That said, there are exceptions. Some people’s teeth may not shift as quickly as predicted. Other people might not follow the prescribed treatment perfectly. These cases tend not to be as effective.
If you do choose an at-home aligner company, make sure you follow your treatment plan extra carefully. And on the off chance that something seems “off,” you should contact customer support right away. The sooner you correct a minor issue, the more effective your whole treatment process will be.
Which is easier: at-home or in-office aligner treatment?
Once you get past the impression kits, we think it’s a little easier to use at-home aligner treatments. That’s simply because you never have to schedule, remember, or travel to appointments; you’ll get an email or text notification that it’s time to move on to your next aligner instead. For many busy adults, it’s easier to complete all of the steps at home.
Can I still use ClearCorrect if I’m not a candidate for Candid?
In most cases, yes. Candid cannot treat some cases remotely because they require extensive orthodontic oversight. So if Candid’s orthodontists determine that they cannot correct your issue—for example, you need an added appliance to help shift your jaw—then you’ll be declined. Since ClearCorrect has extensive orthodontist oversight, it’s usually a good option for people with tougher cases.
Why is ClearCorrect so much more expensive than Candid?
On the surface, the two companies seem pretty similar. After all, both help you straighten your teeth and get the smile of your dreams. But sometimes, ClearCorrect can cost $2,000 more than Candid. That cost discrepancy comes from a variety of factors.
Candid has a one-size-fits-all pricing model. Mild and moderate cases pay the same amount. With ClearCorrect, it’s the opposite. The more severe your case, the more you’ll spend. The only exception is their Flex line, which lets you pay for each aligner separately. Flex is dedicated to minor cases, so it’s not as expensive. So if you’re a candidate for Flex, then ClearCorrect is probably cheaper; if your case is more extensive, it’ll cost more.
In addition, ClearCorrect is administered in-person by a dental provider. With that comes a host of overhead costs, from the orthodontist’s salary and his or her support staff’s pay to the electricity and rental fees for the office itself. The price tag on your ClearCorrect treatment helps pay those overhead costs. Since Candid doesn’t have those costs, it’s often considerably cheaper.