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Candid vs Smile Direct Club: Find Out Which One is Better For You

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Candid vs Smile Direct
Clear aligners are a popular choice for straightening teeth

You know you want straighter teeth, and you've already decided that the at-home route is the best option for you. But now you need to choose between two of the most popular brands on the market: Candid vs Smile Direct Club (SDC).

The truth is, both have been proven to be successful in straightening teeth for cases of mild to moderate malocclusion. And many users love that the whole process can be completed from home. Which is why, in this article, we'll go over the pros and cons of Candid co vs Smile Direct including:

  • Smile Direct cost vs Candid Co cost
  • Treatment differences
  • Who has the best customer service?
  • Candid vs Smile Direct vs Invisalign

If you don't have the time to do a deep dive into this topic right now, here's our ultimate take:

Both are excellent options for many people, providing effective teeth straightening with invisible aligners, but for a much lower cost than Invisalign. That being said, we recommend Candid because they only work with orthodontists, not general dentists, and their diagnostic process seems to be more thorough than Smile Direct's meaning they don't cut corners to make sure you're a good candidate. What's more, Candid is known for its stellar customer service, (which you can read more about in our Candid aligners articles) whereas SDC tends to receive complaints to that end.

To find out if you're eligible for Candid, take their Smile Assessment right now. It's fast and easy and is the first step on your path to a perfect smile. If you find out you're a candidate, book a free appointment to visit a Candid Studio to get your 3D scans taken. Candid uses 3D scans because they are the most accurate way for orthodontists to plan your treatment! If you do decide you want to complete the process completely remotely, you can do that too, by ordering your impression kit online.

Candid Co vs Smile Direct Club

Is Smile Direct Club or Candid Better?

To figure out which option is better for you, we'll take a look at both the similarities and differences between these two brands, so that you can decide whether Candid or Smile Direct is best for you. We'll also do a quick recap of how teledentistry works when it comes to straightening your teeth.

How do at-home braces work?

By now you've probably heard about the success of clear aligners in straightening teeth, and you're familiar with how the process works as well. But just in case you aren't, let's go over the basics of at-home clear aligners:

At-home braces are made from clear plastic so that they are virtually invisible when you are wearing them. They are also removable, although you're supposed to wear them most of the day, but if you have a special event, you can take them out for a couple of hours.

The general process is as follows:

Teeth scans or impressions

  • Book an appointment on the website to visit a studio. A trained specialist or representative will talk to you in person about your goals for straightening your teeth, and they will take a 3D scan of your teeth. Or…
  • Order your impression kit online, and take your own photos and impressions at home, which you then send in.

Receive your clear aligners in the mail

Smile Direct Club vs Candid
Many patients love the remote treatment offered by Candid and Smile Direct

You will receive your aligners all at once in the mail, with detailed instructions for how to follow your plan.

Remote monitoring

Your dentist or orthodontist will monitor your process as you go along, making adjustments as needed and checking your progress to make sure you are ready to move onto each new aligner.

Follow-up care with retainers

Just like with braces, for best results, you should continue to wear a retainer for the rest of your life. You can order your retainer after you complete your treatment with the aligners.

And voila!

Many patients prefer this type of teledentistry for the convenience of not having to make appointments with an orthodontist, for the discretion they offer while wearing them and because they are much more affordable than other teeth straightening options.

So now that you're all caught up, let's dive in!

Candid vs Smile Direct: Similarities

  • Physical locations: Both Candid and Smile Direct have physical locations around the country where you can go to speak in person about your plan, although Smile Direct Club currently has many more locations. This is also where a trained representative or technician will take digital scans of your teeth.
  • 3D scans: 3D imaging is said to be more exact than molds. When you visit a physical location for both of these brands, 3D imaging is available.
  • Free shipping and full refund: If you order an impression kit online, you get free shipping and if you are deemed to not be a candidate, both Smile Direct and Candid will give you a full refund.
  • Receive your aligners all at once: Both Candid and SDC send all of your aligners at the same time. Many patients appreciate this because there is no risk of unexpected delays between shipments, and you can see how your teeth will progress by looking at your future aligners.
  • Whitening: Both Candid and Smile Direct come with a free whitening product.

Candid vs Smile Direct Club: Differences

Now have a look at the primary differences when it comes to Smile Direct vs Candid.

  • Orthodontists vs dentists: SDC works with both orthodontists and dentists, whereas Candid works solely with orthodontists. This is a point for Candid, because orthodontists undergo special training specifically for teeth straightening.
  • Nighttime aligners: SDC offers Nighttime Clear Aligners, which only need to be worn for 10 hours a day, most of which you can do while you sleep. This does, however, tend to prolong treatment time.
  • Cost: The sticker price for SDC is $1,895 and for Candid it's $2,400.
  • Customer service: Candid offers video chat and receives overall excellent customer service reviews when compared with SDC.
  • AI technology: Candid now offers remote monitoring using AI technology to help make the process more efficient and effective. Patients who opt for this option must digitally check in every 7 to 10 days, whereupon their orthodontist will let them know if they can move on to their next aligner trays.

Candid vs Smile Direct cost

We mentioned that cost is one of the differences when it comes to Candidco vs Smile Direct, although when compared to the costs of other braces and especially in-office invisible braces, the difference is minimal. Even so, you can see that at first glance, Candid appears to be a bit more expensive than SDC. Have a look at the following table for a summary of the cost differences:

Candid Smile Direct Club
Sticker price $2,400 $1,895
Impression kit $95 at home (free in-studio) $49 at home (free in-studio)
Retainers 99$ $99
Financing Requires a credit check and a down payment Requires a down payment but no credit check

As you can see, Smile Direct Club, barring any promotions offered by each of the brands, is a bit cheaper than Candid.

Patients with Candid have the option to also purchase the AI remote monitoring that we mentioned above. This option adds $500 to the total price. However, it also has the potential to cut months off of your treatment time, and in an interview with MedCity News, Nick Greenfield, Candid's CEO, says that there is a 95% compliance rate when this technology is used, as opposed to an 80% compliance rate normally, meaning more patients stick with the treatment to the end.

Candid vs Smile Direct Club reviews

We've included a couple of examples of reviews, but you can find a larger collection of Candid and Smile Direct reviews in separate articles.

To give you a taste, have a look at this Candid review from a woman at the end of her braces journey. She's overall happy with her experience, saying it was way better than she thought it would be at the beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjOcl5CiRHY

And now have a look at Henricka's review for Smile Direct Club. Since moving to the United States from Africa, she began looking for an affordable way to correct the gap between her two front teeth. She is also quite happy with her results.

Candid vs Smile Direct Club vs Invisalign

If you are investigating your options for clean aligners, chances are you are quite familiar with Invisalign. Invisalign is one of the brands that helped make clear aligners so popular. It works in quite the same way as Candid and SDC, in that your dentist or orthodontist comes up with a plan that involves a series of virtually invisible clear aligners.

So when it comes to the differences between Candid vs Invisalign vs Smile Direct, what stands out?

The two main differences are price and the fact that Invisalign treatment must be completed at your dentist or orthodontist's office. Invisalign can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $8,500 for their Full treatment, making them much more expensive than either Candid or Smile Direct Club. And much like with SDC, Invisalign also differs from Candid in that both dentists and orthodontists can offer Invisalign treatment, whereas Candid only works with orthodontists.

Who is Candid best for?

Candid is for those who:

  • Want to straighten their teeth discreetly
  • Want to do it from home
  • Want to pay less than they would for Invisalign
  • Prefer to work solely with an orthodontist
  • Don't want to compromise on quality of care

For affordable and effective teeth straightening with an orthodontist, take the Candid Smile Assessment now to find out if you're a candidate. If you find our you're eligible, the next step is to book an appointment (from the Candid website) to visit a Candid Studio to get your 3D scans taken. Your 3D scans are the most accurate way for your orthodontist to plan your treatment, and they're absolutely free!

Who is SDC best for?

SDC is best for those who:

  • Want to straighten their teeth discreetly
  • Want to do it from home
  • Want the cheapest price
  • Don't care whether they work with an orthodontist or dentist
  • Have mild to moderate malocclusion

If you are interested in treatment with Smile Direct Club, they also have a Smile Assessment that you can take to get started. Just click on the button below! If you find out that you're eligible, you can book an appointment at a Smile Shop to get your 3D scans taken. Alternatively, if you'd rather complete the process 100% remotely, you can order your impression kit online.

Who is Invisalign best for?

Invisalign is best for those who:

  • Want to straighten their teeth discreetly
  • Don't care whether they work with an orthodontist or dentist
  • Want hands-on monitoring by a dentist or orthodontist
  • Don't mind paying more for direct care
  • Have mild to severe malocclusion

Conclusion

is candid or smile direct club better
Treatment with Candid is monitored by orthodontists

If you need some teeth straightening but nothing too severe, chances are that you will get the results you want whether you choose Smile Direct Club or Candid. After all, when it comes to Candid aligners vs Smile Direct, the way they work is very similar —they both offer completely remote treatment, both have physical locations where you can go to get help from an assistant and they both offer discreet treatment.

Candid costs a bit more, but in return, your treatment is planned and monitored by an orthodontist instead of a dentist and with multiple chat platforms including direct video chat with your orthodontist, you also receive better customer service. Ultimately, you'll have to figure out what your priorities are, and what you think will be the best for your oral health. If you think that Candid may be the best option for you, you can take their Smile Assessment now!

FAQs

Which is better, Candid or Smile Direct Club?

The question on many consumers' minds—is Candid or Smile Direct Club better? Both Candid and Smile Direct can be successful in giving you the straight smile you've always wanted. These two brands have more similarities than differences, but we prefer Candid, due to their superior customer service and the fact that your treatment is planned and monitored by an orthodontist, not a dentist.

What's the difference between Candid vs Smile Direct vs Invisalign?

Candid and Smile Direct are both at-home invisible braces whereas Invisalign requires in-office visits, making treatment more expensive. The main differences between Candid and Smile Direct are:

  • Price: Candid's ticket price is $2,400 and SDC's is $1,895.
  • Dentist vs orthodontist: Treatment with Candid is only done by orthodontists, whereas with SDC it can be either.
  • Nighttime option: SDC offers aligners that only need to be worn for 10 hours a day (or night), however, treatment time will most likely be longer.
  • Customer service: Candid is known to have better customer service, including an online chat option.
  • AI remote monitoring: Candid has introduced new remote monitoring that speeds up treatment and makes it more effective.
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Contributors:
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen
Natalie Asmussen on LinkedinNatalie Asmussen on Website
Natalie worked in the medical sector for several years and now writes informative content about dentistry and healthcare.
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