Our Candid Review: An Honest Review of The Candid Clear Aligners

Clear aligners have become more and more popular over the years as a discreet, adult-friendly alternative to braces. Numerous aligner companies have been popping up over the past few years, offering an intriguing and promising option for teeth straightening. Amongst them is Candid Care Co, or simply Candid (BBB Rating A+) who have been making waves for a while now.

The company prides itself on low prices, expert care from real orthodontists, and remote scanning, treatment, and monitoring – but is it really as good as they say? Here’s what you need to know about Candid and Candid reviews.

The Company

Candid was founded by five people who wanted straighter teeth but couldn’t afford braces – and some of them didn’t even have braces at an option! They began studying the aligner industry and eventually decided to set up shop.

Candid was founded by these five friends and Dr. C. Lynn Hurst, a world-class orthodontist. At first, the small company’s office lived in apartments, but the business grew and grew. Today, Candid employs a staff of 300 and has served tens of thousands of customers.

It’s not uncommon for customers to get a little confused when they first look up Candid and Candid reviews, as there appear to be multiple businesses with similar names: Candid, Candid Co, and Candid Care Co.

However, all of these are the same – Candid Care Co is the official business name, Candid Co is the alternative name, and Candid has been used by the company to refer to itself since 2018.

The Process

How Does Candid Work

In order to better understand how Candid works as a company and as a health product, you’ll need to know about their process. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Survey

Before you can sign up to receive Candid aligners, you will be required to fill out a survey to find out if you are a “candidate” for the product. But what, exactly, does this survey involve?

Simply put, the survey asks you a few questions about your teeth and takes approximately 30 seconds to complete. It asks how you would describe your teeth’s problems, such as discoloration, protruding teeth, crowded teeth, or overly spaced teeth. It asks how soon you would like to begin using the aligners and for your age – which is important, as teeth continue to develop in younger years.

The survey will also ask other general questions, such as if you have ever worn braces. In the end, it asks for your postcode, so as to recommend an orthodontist they work with nearby. If you aren’t close by to any branch, however, there is also an option to purchase a scan and have it shipped to your home. The survey will then inform you if you are a match for the product or not.

Candid Survey

Step 2: Scan

Aligners have to fit your teeth. As such, scans are common for virtually all brands and types of aligners, just like they are for braces and retainers.

The easiest option to get a scan is to go to a Candid Studio. When you take the survey, the website will recommend their nearest branch to you. If there’s one that they can recommend, you can simply go in to get the scan done by professionals in a hassle-free manner. This method is also free of charge. It involves the simple process of working with a specialist, who will create a digital model of your teeth with an optical laser scan.

If you choose to take the scan at home, if there isn’t a studio near you, or if you can’t make it to the studio during business hours, you’ll have to pay for a starter kit, which may come at a discounted price. However, the kit must be returned to a branch within a week; if not, you incur the full charge. The process involves taking an impression or photo.

To take an impression, you receive a putty mixture to put together, divide it among a few trays, and bite down into them to create impressions of your teeth. Those with strong gag reflexes may need someone’s help to get the impressions.

To take photos, Candid’s starter kit provides instructions on how to take pictures of your teeth correctly with the aid of a cheek stretcher. You’ll snap shots of different angles, likely with the help of someone else. The Candid support team will inform you whether you have done the photos and impressions correctly and can guide you if you need assistance.

Regardless of your chosen method, most scans don’t take longer than half an hour at a time. The scan’s results will be sent off to a licensed orthodontist that works with Candid. That medical professional will design a treatment plan customized to your specific needs and teeth. In the event that the orthodontist assigned to you deems you’re not the right fit for Candid’s product, you’ll get a refund on your starter kit.

Step 3: Receiving The Aligners

Once the treatment plan is developed – which usually takes 3 to 4 weeks, as done by an orthodontist – you will receive it in the mail. Along with it, an interactive preview in 3D will walk you through the process of wearing and caring for the aligners, step by step in colorful cards.

For the most part, treatment plans all involve multiple aligners of varying sizes that you will use one by one, slowly working your way through them as your teeth change. Most plans last for about six months, but the exact length will vary based on your specific needs, and it can take up to 18 months to complete treatment in more severe cases.

Each time you begin using a new aligner, you may feel some mild pain at first as it fits tightly around your teeth. Over time, they will become more comfortable, and they should not affect daily life significantly. Aligner treatment plans come with whitening foam and a carrying case, which you can use as you please.

You will also have the ability to get “check-ups” through your phone. Taking new scans and pictures, still with the help of a cheek stretcher, will allow orthodontists to check your progress as you go and provide you with instructions. You will typically have a set schedule for swapping your old aligners with the next ones, and Candid will send you emails and texts to remind you when it’s time to switch.

Step 4: After The Aligners

At some point, it will be time to take the aligners off – but you’re not quite done yet. Just like with braces, you need to make sure that the new smile doesn’t slowly shift back to its original state. Candid sells retainers for this exact purpose, and each one comes free with a retainer case, a whitening foam, a pull tool, and chewies, as well as some instructions for how to use it.

You will usually have to wear your retainers for a fairly long time at first at 22 hours per day. These retainers feel and appear quite similar to the aligners you’re used to, but they will be thicker and, presumably, be less painful to wear.

It’s typically recommended that you change retainers every six months, and you can order more via the Candid app when the time comes. As with all aligners and forms of tooth alignment correction, it’s important to wear retainers for as long as required, or you risk undoing all your hard work.

Health and Safety

It’s a good idea to be concerned about your personal health and safety when considering healthcare-related products. Candid is known for prioritizing professional medical input, but how does it hold up?

As a company, Candid places emphasis on remote treatment and claims to focus primarily on the health of their patients over their bottom line. The process of diagnostics was developed by orthodontists who are certified and well-known in their fields, and the company aims to set what they call a high bar for all their treatment activities.

Candid works only with certified orthodontists and its processes meet AAO standards. Their consent form, which you must sign, also goes into a good amount of detail regarding your medical history. The company hopes to treat its customers the same way doctors treat patients and claims to offer alternative options if they believe you are better off seeking treatment elsewhere, thereby focusing on what is the most medically sound option for you.

Should you have questions during your treatment plan, Candid offers customer support and provides guidance and care as needed. Most Candid Reviews state that their customer service is stellar.

Price and Pricing Plans

The full plan for Candid aligners and their treatment is $2,400. This is a clear contrast to braces, which usually cost up to $6,000, and Invisalign, the more popular aligner brand that costs even more. Of course, it can still be quite a steep price for many, but there are ways to make it more affordable. Here’s how:

1. Use A Health Savings Account Or Flexible Spending Account Debit Card

HSA and FSA cards can mean a much more affordable experience. If you don’t have a card but have the accounts, you can pay by a different means and Candid will provide you with a receipt so you can be reimbursed.

2. Apply For A Monthly Plan

Candid offers monthly payment plans with low interest. At its lowest, you can pay a $399 down payment and then pay $99 per month for the following 24 months. This allows you to handle the expense in a more reasonable fashion over time.

3. Ask About Insurance From Your Provider

If you’re covered by insurance for orthodontic benefits, ask your provider about coverage for code D8040 remote treatments. You may be eligible for coverage.

Of course, when something is cheap, people tend to ask why and if there’s a catch – and that’s a wise thing to consider with something as crucial as your teeth! The reasons for Candid’s low pricing are fairly simple.

For starters, everything’s included. Your first scan, should you choose to walk into a studio to have it down digitally, is completely free, and regular monitoring and check-ins are included in the total price.

Secondly and finally, it’s all down to teledentistry. Because everything can be done remotely, you don’t pay for clinical overheads or markups, you don’t need to make office visits, and you never actually need to enter an orthodontists office.

Charity Work

Candid takes part in certain humanitarian efforts, namely Smile Train, which is an international charity focused on helping children with cleft lips and palates. Smile Train has been around since 1999 and has provided cleft palate and lip treatment to children across the world, 100% free of charge.

Smile Train works by providing medical professionals throughout the globe with resources, training, and funding, empowering them to provide full, effective, and comprehensive treatment to children in need.

So, where does Candid come in? With every aligner kit purchased from Candid, a $25 donation is made to the charity, with the goal of funding more than 1,000 surgeries and treatments of this variety yearly.

Comparisons To Other Aligners

There are plenty of clear teeth aligner companies out there, and many of them offer good deals, too. Here’s how some of the most popular, low-cost ones stack up to Candid:

1. Byte

Process:

  • Involves taking a survey first
  • Uses an interesting facial symmetry program to determine the best alignment of teeth for you
  • At-home impressions and remote treatment and monitoring are included
  • No walk-in studio option

Aligners:

  • FDA-cleared aligners with patented technology
  • High-frequency vibration treatment claims to complete alignment twice as fast

Payment:

  • Full refund if you are not a fit
  • Cheaper overall cost
  • Free one-month supply of aligner cleaner
  • Free retainers
  • Military, student, and first responder discounts available
  • Insurance coverage and HSA/FSA financing possible
  • Monthly installment plans available

Health and Safety:

  • Conducted by licensed orthodontists
  • Comes with a for-life guarantee; if your teeth fall out of alignment, they will be fixed for free

Other Areas:

  • No charity link
  • Multiple PR partnerships

2. Smile Direct Club

Process:

  • Involves taking a survey first
  • At-home impressions and remote treatment and monitoring are included, with check-ins every 90 days
  • Has walk-in option

Aligners:

  • There are options for nighttime aligners and normal aligners

Payment:

  • Full refund if you are not a fit
  • Cheaper overall cost
  • Comes with free teeth-whitening
  • $99 retainers
  • Discounts available often
  • Option to order whitening treatments
  • Insurance coverage and HSA/FSA financing possible
  • Monthly installment plans available

Health and Safety:

  • Conducted by dentists and orthodontists
  • A Smile Guarantee allows you to return your aligners within 30 days for a full refund

Other Areas:

  • Available around the world

3. Aligner Co

Process:

  • Involves taking an assessment first
  • At-home impressions and remote treatment and monitoring are included, with check-ins every 90 days
  • No walk-in studio

Aligners:

  • Option to get aligner for only top or bottom teeth

Payment:

  • Full refund if you are not a fit
  • Extremely low overall cost
  • Retainers not included
  • Monthly installment plans available

Health and Safety:

  • Conducted by orthodontists

Other Areas:

  • Relatively new company
  • Limited information available

Where Candid Stands Out

There are a few ways that Candid stands out as a company when compared to other aligner brands. These are not necessarily “good” or “bad” comparisons; however, they do provide information that may affect your decision to buy or not buy them.

1. Price

Candid costs a fraction of the price that bigger companies’ products, like Invisalign, do. We’ve already talked about how this is possible, but this does indicate a good lower-budget option for those who want to fix their teeth without incurring huge costs.

2. Medical Soundness

A lot of aligner companies work with general dentists or “dental professionals”. However, Candid only works with licensed orthodontists who are well-known in their fields. This means you receive added peace of mind knowing that experts are behind your treatment plan.

3. Appearance

For the most part, Candid aligners look just like their competitors’ in the major aspects – they’re clear and look like plastic. But there is a small additional detail – Candid’s products are matte, meaning they don’t have much of a shine or gloss to them. Though it seems inconsequential, this actually means that the aligners look more natural as they don’t glimmer and gleam when you wear them.

4. Remote Treatment

The ability to work on having your teeth fixed from the comfort of your own home is a very modern addition to aligner companies. Though some have also implemented these measures, it’s worth noting that Candid has these features and built its entire process based on teledentistry.

5. Remote Monitoring

On top of the remote treatment, orthodontists are able to monitor the progress of patients remotely via the Candid app. This means there’s no need to go to a dentist’s or doctor’s office, or even into a Candid studio again!

6. Studios

The fact that you still have other options if you’re struggling with the first scan is a pretty significant feature of Candid. You can walk into studios for completely free digital scanning instead of paying for the at-home scan kit.

7. Convenience

You receive all of the aligners you need for your treatment plan at once. This means there’s no waiting for new ones to arrive. You simply need to follow the step-by-step instructions and change your aligners to new ones when you’re told to via email or text.

Risks and Precautions

There aren’t many negative issues associated with Candid and its products, but there are some areas that you should be aware of:

The Original Scan Has To Be Done Right

If you opt for the at-home scanning kit, that means you have to take impressions perfectly. While customer service can easily guide you through taking the right photos, they likely won’t be able to tell through the app if you’ve taken good impressions. If you mess up with those impressions, then your entire treatment plan will not be right for you and could cause more harm than good. While Candid will ask for corrections when they know something’s wrong with the impressions, some errors may slip through the cracks.

Teeth Can Revert Back

No matter what type of realignment methods you use – braces, Invisalign, Candid, other aligners – your teeth can always go back to how they were before. Teeth move and shift over time, and your teeth won’t be “perfect” forever. That’s exactly why invisible aligners have become so popular – adults whose teeth have re-shifted can wear them without feeling awkward about it.

You May Not Be Eligible

There is always the chance that, after your scan, an orthodontist will decide that Candid simply isn’t the right fit for you. While there’s no issue with paying first and being refunded later in this event, it can be quite a hassle and can feel immensely disappointing to those who really want to use an invisible alignment method. Still, Candid can help by pointing you in the right direction to get the dental care you want and need.

Some Orthodontists Don’t Believe In Remote Treatment

A few orthodontists consider at-home aligners to be ineffective, as you need a perfect impression of your teeth. Some also state that most companies don’t provide enough aligners for the teeth to fully be shifted to new, long-term positions. While Candid does what it can to mitigate risk, it’s still worth considering how you may be affected by these issues.

You Still Need To Pay For Retainers

A number of other companies offer complementary retainers with their treatment plans. You still have to fork out about $99 for a retainer from Candid. It’s not unusual in the industry and is a reasonable price for the six-month period you will wear each one, but it’s still something to consider.

Conclusion

Candid Co and its aligners may be slightly higher priced than a few other aligner companies, but with top-tier orthodontists at the helm, a much lower cost compared to braces, and great Candid reviews, it’s no surprise that it has been steadily gaining popularity.

If you have the funds, there’s little harm in giving it a go thanks to smooth refund options, helpful customer service, and the ease and convenience of remote treatment.

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