Candid vs. SmileDirect

Compare cost, results and reviews

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Written by Leorah Gavidor
Edited by Vincent Landino
SmileDirectClub and Candid
woman with clear teeth aligners

Unlike traditional braces, invisible braces are made of clear plastic and can be removed for eating and drinking. Also called aligners, they treat issues such as poor alignment, minor crowding and slightly crooked teeth. Below, we compare two popular options, Candid and SmileDirectClub.

  • How Candid and SmileDirectClub are similar: Both companies’ aligners are clear and removable, and average treatment times are close with their 22-hour-per-day options.
  • How Candid and SmileDirectClub are different: Unlike Candid, SmileDirectClub offers flat pricing, the option for 100% remote service and a night-only aligner option.
candid logosmile direct club logo
Remote impression kit cost*Kits no longer available$59
Single-payment cost*Varies by dentist$2,050
Night-only option
Average treatment lengthSix monthsFour to six months
Financing availableVaries by dentist
Money-back guaranteeDuring first 30 days
Customer satisfactionRead reviewsRead reviews
candid logoKits no longer availableVaries by dentistSix monthsVaries by dentistRead reviews
smile direct club logo$59$2,050Four to six monthsDuring first 30 daysRead reviews

*At the time of publishing

Candid

Candid offers invisible aligner treatment with remote check-ins, so you only have to visit a CandidPro doctor in your area once to get started. After that, everything can be done from your home. The treatment takes an average of six months when you wear Candid’s BPA-free thermoplastic aligners 22 hours per day.

Check-ins are done every 14 days via scans you take at home with the provided monitoring equipment.

Pros

  • Nationwide network of CandidPro doctors
  • Remote monitoring technology
  • Also offers Philips Zoom Whitening

Cons

  • Not everyone is a candidate
  • In-person initial visit required
  • No night-only treatment available

Costs

Costs for Candid treatment vary, depending on what your CandidPro doctor decides to charge and whether you have insurance. Hypothetical costs provided by Candid range from $3,500 to $7,100 without insurance and from $1,750 to $5,350 with insurance. You may pay more or less, though, so consult your doctor and insurance provider to determine your exact costs. Candid is in-network with multiple insurance companies.

Treatment for teens may be more expensive because it’s not an in-network benefit with any insurance provider, but partial reimbursement is sometimes available. Retainers cost $99.

Results

Candid customers seem to like the prices (compared with those of traditional braces). One verified customer reported some discomfort with the aligners, but they were still happy with the overall results. Another reviewer liked how the company worked with their insurance and might be back in the future: “I’d recommend Candid. My son is going to need braces at some point, and we might go the route of Candid and forego the braces.”

SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub offers two options for invisible braces: traditional aligners, worn 22 hours a day, or its Nighttime Aligners, which require 10 hours of continuous nighttime wear. Both types of aligners are made from BPA-free plastic. You can choose to schedule an initial in-person consultation at a SmileShop location or opt for a 100% telehealth experience. Either way, you’ll receive a 3D visualization of how your new smile will look with a customized treatment plan.

With all-day wear, the average SmileDirectClub treatment takes four to six months. Night-only treatments take an average of 10 months. Teens who use SmileDirectClub get free aligner replacement, and their parents get notifications with updates about aligner changes and check-ins. All aligners for teens and adults come with teeth whitening.

All treatment with SmileDirectClub is prescribed, managed and monitored by state-licensed dentists and orthodontists with aligner experience. This includes virtual check-ins and 24/7 access to the dental team via text, video chat, email and phone.

Pros

  • Money-back promise in first 30 days
  • Nighttime-only option
  • No-credit-check payment plan

Cons

  • Unclear frequency of check-ins
  • Nighttime-only treatment takes longer
  • Must remove aligners to eat and drink

Costs

It costs $59 at the time of publishing to get started with SmileDirectClub by ordering a remote impression kit. However, a partial rebate is available. Alternatively, you can visit a SmileShop for a free tooth scan.

SmileDirectClub treatment costs $2,050 if you pay in full upfront, whether you choose regular or nighttime aligners. The company also offers no-credit-check financing, called SmilePay, which requires $250 down and $89 payments for 26 months ($2,564 total). A set of upper and lower retainers costs $99.

If you have insurance coverage with orthodontic benefits, SmileDirectClub can help. According to the company, it's in-network with most dental insurers, which cover an average of 50% of treatment costs; this means the average total out-of-pocket cost for insured customers is under $1,000. It also accepts HSA and FSA payments. SmileDirectClub refunds the cost of an impression kit if a dentist or orthodontist determines you aren’t a candidate for treatment with aligners. The company also allows you to return aligners within the first 30 days if you aren’t satisfied and gives a refund.

Results

People seem happiest when they use SmileDirectClub’s aligners for relatively minor orthodontic corrections. “The process was good,” according to one verified SmileDirectClub customer. “Whenever there were any hiccups, the customer service was there to help me out. I feel good with my new smile.”

SmileDirect vs. Candid FAQ

Which is cheaper: Candid or SmileDirect?
It’s hard to say since Candid’s pricing varies by dentist. Both SmileDirectClub’s traditional aligners and Nighttime Aligners cost $2,050, including teeth whitening. SmileDirectClub charges $59 at the time of publishing for an impression kit to get started.
How do Candid and SmileDirect compare to Invisalign?
Candid and SmileDirectClub both generally cost less than Invisalign, while Invisalign prices are similar to the cost of braces. Invisalign requires office visits, and its treatment often takes longer than treatment with Candid or SmileDirect.
What are customers saying about Candid and SmileDirectClub?
Many reviewers are satisfied with the results of both Candid and SmileDirectClub. Happy customers frequently say that Candid helped them fix crowding, whereas SmileDirectClub customers are more likely to mention fixing crooked and gapped teeth. We did find both companies also have at least one complaint about customer service. However, the majority of verified customers are happy with Candid and SmileDirectClub. People indicate that both companies offer more affordable and convenient solutions than traditional braces.

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    Bottom line: Which is better: Candid or SmileDirect?

    Candid and SmileDirectClub offer similar types of orthodontic treatment plans, designing custom aligners and plans for straightening teeth. However, SmileDirectClub offers more remote, online options and direct pricing, while Candid requires you to visit a dentist for an initial consultation and pricing.

    • Candid has great customer service: Candid reviews are most likely to mention customer service, and people seem to like that you can get all the aligners in one delivery.
    • SmileDirectClub is more flexible: SmileDirectClub gives you the option to visit a dentist or start remotely, and it has a nighttime-only option that only requires 10 hours of wear per day.
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