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What’s the Difference Between Candid and Invisalign®?

Haleigh Pouliot

Written by Haleigh Pouliot

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The term “clear aligner” in itself is practically synonymous with the brand name Invisalign.

Nowadays, however, the Candid brand is proving to be a real contender in the world of clear aligner orthodontics.

You want to get straighter teeth with clear aligners, and both Invisalign and Candid are excellent choices. But, when comparing Invisalign vs Candid which is the best one?

In this post, we’re diving into the details of what makes these two brands different and how those differences could affect your decision.

How Does Candid Work?

Candid was launched in 2017 by a group of entrepreneurs who were ready to shake up the world of orthodontic treatment. At the beginning, the Candid model cut out the middle man (along with the associated markup costs) and dealt directly with consumers. However, they changed their model a couple of years ago and now the brand offers a similar alignment system as Invisalign.

Now, to get Candid aligners you have to take the ‘smile quiz’ on Candid website and locate a doctor in your area that offers the brand’s treatment. But, don’t worry, you only have to visit the Candid provider a couple of times as fewer dental visits are required compared to Invisalign.

how does candid work
candid system vs invisalign

After the first consultation, you’ll check in with your Candid provider every 2 weeks as you go through your treatment by sending in photos of your teeth via their app.

And that’s it! Your treatment happens almost entirely online, and you save money by working directly with Candid.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Founded in 1997 as Align Technology, the Invisalign brand has only continued to grow along with the surging demand for cosmetic dentistry and braces alternatives.

Invisalign aligners are provided in dental offices by dentists who have been trained to fit patients for aligners. An Invisalign doctor takes impressions or scans of a patients’ teeth, prescribes a treatment plan, and sends an order for the aligner trays, which are created in one of Invisalign’s labs.

how does invisalign work
invisalign system vs candid

If you get Invisalign, your entire course of treatment will be overseen in person by just one dentist. You’ll have to visit the dental office every couple of weeks to get your teeth checked and to get approval to move on to a new set of aligner trays.

Candid vs Invisalign: The Key Differences

On the surface, Candid and Invisalign are just two different names for the same thing: clear teeth aligners.

The most obvious difference is that Invisalign is provided in a dental office while Candid is an at-home system. There’s more to it than that, however.

Let’s take a closer look at the most important differences between these two brands.

Candid vs Invisalign Price

Probably the main difference you’re keen to find out is the difference in price.

Candid treatment costs around $2400 as the final price will depend on different factors like the severity of your case or the Candid provider you choose. Usually, flexible financing options are offered by providers.

Invisalign cost is highly variable. It depends on the complexity of your case and on the prices set by the dentist treating you. The price of Invisalign ranges from $3000 to $8,000.

Candid is clearly cheaper than Invisalign, but it’s still one of the more high-end options when compared with other cheap teeth aligners.

Treatment Qualification

What does it take to qualify for Candid vs Invisalign?



At-Home vs In-Office Teeth Straightening

Let’s now take a look at Candid vs Invisalign in terms of their treatment methods.

Candid’s At-Home Teeth Straightening Model

Receiving any sort of service from the safety of your own home was definitely a major convenience during the COVID-19 pandemic and now for those who don’t have time to go to a dental clinic as much as Invisalign and traditional braces require. Candid has a considerable advantage in that you can save a lot of time by skipping dental visits as you get your checkups online.

It’s also easier to start treatment at any time when you can check your suitability by taking an online quiz. If you were to get teeth aligners from the dentist, it could take longer since it may take you longer to get an appointment. Dental offices have reduced staff these days and cut down office hours.

Lastly, even though you get to straighten your teeth mostly in the comfort of your home, you also get all the benefits of in-office treatments like dental emergencies, as your provider is a local clinic.

Invisalign’s In-Office Teeth Straightening Model

Invisalign appointments are quite brief and, in some cases, use digital scanners to make the consultations even faster and easier.

As mentioned before, the advantage of seeing a dentist in person for Invisalign treatment is that you will have professional guidance every step of the way. If you have a problem with your Invisalign aligners or run into some kind of dental emergency, you’ll know who to call. Plus, your personal dentist is going to have more insight into your dental care needs than a remote orthodontist you’ve never met.

Candid Braces vs Invisalign

Interestingly, Candid and Invisalign aligners are made from quite nearly the same material: clear BPA-free thermoplastic. Invisalign’s formula, however, is a patented material they call SmartTrack®.

This indicates that while Candid’s aligners are quite similar, there are many more years of research and development behind Invisalign’s aligner material.

candid braces vs invisalign
invisalign braces vs candid

Invisalign offers a unique perk with their aligners. Because they provide aligners for kids and teens, the company says they can add an indicator dot to the aligners, which gradually wears away. Parents can periodically check their kids’ aligners for signs that they’ve been wearing them regularly as directed. You can learn more about the Invisalign aligners in our Invisalign Teen review

Treatment Time for Invisalign vs Candid

Now let’s talk about treatment time.

According to their website, Candid aligner patients complete their treatment within 8.5 months on average. 

Invisalign, on the other hand, offers a wider range of treatment times because they offer custom treatment plans that address a wide range of case types. For example, they offer Invisalign Express for very mild cases that can be treated within three months. At the other end of the spectrum, there is a more comprehensive plan that could take 18 months or more to correct severe orthodontic cases.

Note: Only a trained Invisalign dentist can tell you which type of Invisalign plan is right for you after assessing your orthodontic needs. It’s not something you can just order per your preference. There’s no way to make your teeth move any faster than they want to!

Dental Professionals: Orthodontist vs Dentist

How about the fact that different dental professionals oversee your treatment with Candid vs Invisalign?

When you get Invisalign, an Invisalign-trained dentist assesses your case and prescribes treatment. With Candid, it’s an orthodontist.

What’s the difference?

candid orthodontist

Orthodontists are dental specialists that have extra training and education in the science of moving teeth. Candid treatment may be semi-remote, but it has the advantage of guaranteeing that they only work with specialists that will examine your case and approve you for clear aligner treatment.

invisalign dentists

Some Invisalign dentists are very good at what they do and have a knack for orthodontics. But they aren’t all specialists. Their primary role is to simply coordinate your treatment and rely on the Invisalign lab to design everything.

The benefit of seeing a dentist for Invisalign, however, is that even if they aren’t an orthodontic specialist, they can still skillfully monitor your dental health and orthodontic progress when you see them for in-person checkups.

The Free Whitening Bonus

Candid offers one other special perk that we want to mention here: free teeth whitening. This $25-value is an excellent add-on because then you end up with straighter and brighter teeth at the end of your treatment.

Buttons and Attachments

In some cases, teeth need an extra push for clear aligners to work. This push comes in the form of buttons and attachments.

attachments invisalign vs candid

Attachments are tiny dabs of tooth-colored bonding material that are placed on certain teeth at strategic points. This extra material gives a clear aligner, a sort of handle to grab onto so that there is more leveraging power to move your tooth.

buttons invisalign vs candid

Buttons are more prominent than attachments, and they provide a “hook,” which provides an anchor for an elastic band. The band is pulled onto hooks and stretched between upper and lower teeth to help pull teeth up or down into the same biting plane as the rest of the teeth.

Buttons and bands are the best way to move teeth vertically because clear aligners alone can’t do that.

Buttons and attachments can only be placed in a dental office by a dentist or orthodontist and sometimes feature in Invisalign treatment. Even Candid admits that they don’t support this procedure because they don’t provide in-office supervision.

So if your clear aligner treatment requires the use of buttons or attachments, then you’ll have to go with Invisalign over Candid.

Invisalign vs Candid: Comparison Table

Here are the significant differences between Invisalign vs Candid, at a glance.

Treatment Time6-18 months8.5 months (average)
At-Home vs In-Office TreatmentIn-officeAt-home
Online/Remote TreatmentNoYes
Whitening Treatment?Not includedIncluded free
Dentist vs Orthodontist-SupervisedDentistsOrthodontists
Extra Orthodontic Treatment (Buttons and Attachments)YesNot supported

Candid vs Invisalign Reviews

The Internet is awash with Invisalign reviews, and they are overwhelmingly positive. The Invisalign system has been refined over the past two decades and has transformed millions of smiles. There’s no question that it works. Just about any Invisalign review that you read will tell you that it’s a highly effective treatment.

What will you find if you look up “Candid review?”

Candid likewise has many positive reviews by users who commented that they loved features like:

There are many different types of teeth alignment products out there, but it’s clear that both industry giants like Invisalign and tenacious startups like Candid offer reliable products.

To learn about yet another interesting type of aligner, read our review of nighttime aligners.

Is Candid better than Invisalign?

We can say that if you need some major orthodontic help with a complex case, then you will do well to see a dentist in person who can prescribe clear aligners like Invisalign.

But if you want to save money, stay home, and try one of the many Invisalign alternatives out there to treat a mild case of crooked teeth, then Candid is an excellent option to try.

If you aren’t sure that Candid is right for you, then you might want first to compare Candid vs SmileDirect, another popular clear aligner company.

Speaking of which, look for another post where we’ll be comparing SmileDirect vs Invisalign! But you can also read about the best alignment brands in our review of the top 6 home teeth aligners to make a better decision.

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