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Candid vs Smile Direct Club Is There a Clear Winner?

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Attention: After SmileDirectClub initiated Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings on September 29, 2023, the brand decided to shut down its global operations on December 2023. The company has informed through its site that it won't continue to sell any products to new customers. Regarding previous customers, SmileDirectClub won't provide any further customer care or guidance with their alignment journey, regardless of the phase of their treatment.

At a glance, brands like Candid and Smile Direct Club may seem practically indistinguishable, but there are key differences you need to be aware of before making a choice. While Smile Direct Club began with the desire to democratize orthodontics by making invisible aligners cheap and available to their customers, Candid took the tack of working with specialists in the field of orthodontics to ensure expert care for every patient and put health and well-being first.

As a responsible consumer and your own healthcare advocate, however, you need to know more. How can you choose between Candid and Smile Direct Club when you want to straighten your smile and improve your appearance and confidence? Which is best for you? Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the difference between Candid and Smile Direct Club aligners?

Whenever consumers comparison shop, the devil is in the details. So, what separates Candid products from those you’ll get from Smile Direct Club? With Smile Direct Club, your custom aligner trays are made from a 3D scan or impressions of your smile. Several sets of BPA-free invisible aligners will be sent to you so that you can use them as scheduled to adjust your teeth over the course of about six months or more.

Candid relies on optical laser scans of your mouth that map every surface (or alternately, 3D impressions). After considerable review by a trained and experienced orthodontist, a plan is created and custom, invisible aligner trays are precision printed with advanced 3D printer technology. They’re made with a revolutionary thermoplastic called Zendura that is free of BPA, phthalates, and parabens for your safety and peace of mind.

Thermoforming is used to heat shape Zendura material to molds of your teeth to ensure a perfect fit, and edge surfaces are precision trimmed for optimal comfort during wear. At every step of the way, expertise and cutting-edge technology deliver superior products and optimal patient care.

comparison candid vs smile direct club

Candid vs Smile Direct Club

When it comes to results, Candid and Smile Direct Club both promise to deliver the straight smile you crave; both offer clear and inconspicuous, custom aligner trays and the convenience of at-home treatments, however, the two brands are not exactly the same. They have some pros and cons that need to be considered before making the final decision, for example: teens under 16 don’t qualify for Candid, but the minimum age for Smile Direct Club is lower, being the minimum 12 years old.

That’s why, in this table, we have compiled the advantages and disadvantages of both brands to help you decide whether it suits you best.

candid vs smile direct pros and cons

Candid vs Smile Direct Club Reviews: The Timeline

Knowing what to expect throughout the process can help you to choose the best product and brand to suit your needs. With Smile Direct Club, you’ll start with a visit to the nearest SmileShop for a scan, or if there isn’t one nearby, you can use an at-home, physical impression kit and send it in.

When this is done, a licensed dentist or orthodontist will review your 3D smile, along with photos and medical history, to create a custom plan for shifting your teeth into proper alignment. You will receive a preview of the proposed plan before your aligner kit is delivered. If you have any problems during the process, you can contact Smile Direct Club customer service by phone, email, chat, or social media to address questions and concerns.

smile direct club smileshop
smile direct club impression kit

Candid also offers two convenient ways to get started. You can either book a free, intraoral, optical laser scan of teeth at the Candid Studio location or you can receive the at-home starter kit with needed supplies and instructions on how to take 3D impressions of your mouth to send in for review by orthodontic specialists.

candid co studio scan
candid co aligners kit

Candid works only with a network of orthodontists that have a minimum of two years postdoctoral training in the biomechanics of tooth movement. The average level of orthodontic experience for partner specialists is 20 years. Your assigned orthodontist will review your case and create a customized treatment plan, complete with a fully interactive 3D, digital model of how your teeth will adjust throughout the course of treatment.

From there, your complete set of custom aligner trays will arrive at your door all at once, so you never have to wait for your next set to continue progress toward your perfect smile. A complimentary whitening kit and retainers for use following teeth straightening are included at no cost to complete your smile transformation.

The Candid white-glove care team is available 24/7 (even on holidays) to ensure any questions or concerns you may have are promptly addressed, and they will consult your assigned orthodontist as needed (based on Candid reviews this service is great). You’ll also get regular check-ins and feedback on assessment photos to keep you on track and make sure your treatment is progressing according to plan.

Candid vs Smile Direct Club: Price

Pricing is always an important factor when it comes to purchasing goods and services, and it’s one of the many reasons patients who could benefit from teeth straightening elect to forego treatment. Considering orthodontic braces can set you back $4,000-$5,000, it’s no wonder so many patients can’t afford it.

Both Candid and Smile Direct Club are affordable teeth aligners options, but if we make a comparison Candid will end up being more expensive than Smile Direct. In the following table you will find a cost breakdown of both brands:

Candid vs Smile Direct Club Is There a Clear Winner? 1

It is important to highlight that you can also use CareCredit to get the treatment at a cheaper price. This healthcare financing card offers a variety of interest-free monthly plans that can help you pay easily the final price of the alignment treatment. 

In case neither of these brands suits you due to the price or because of your orthodontic issue, you can find great Candid and Smile Direct Club alternatives like lingual braces or one of the brands listed in our review of the top 6 home teeth aligners.


Does Either Home Aligner Kit Offer Discounts?

Yes, they do! Right now, both brands have limited-time offers, but check from time to time, they always have discounts whether are for their whitening kits or the whole alignment treatment.


Does Either Service Give Free Whitening Treatment?

Both brands include on their alignment treatment their own whitening treatment: Smile Direct Club provides “bright on” premium whitening kit and Candid provides their premium whitening foam.

Which Home Aligner Company Is More Customer-focused?

Candid is, between the two brands, the most customer-focused as it only accepts mild cases, it has an innovative teledentistry system and, based on their reviews, they have excellent customer service.

How Do Candid and Smile Direct Compare to Invisalign?

The first main difference is that Invisalign is not an at-home treatment. The second one is the price: while Invisalign costs on average $5000, Candid costs on average $2400 and Smile Direct Club $2050.

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