Candid and AlignerCo have a lot in common. Both clear aligner services offer at-home teeth straightening, and both are newer to the scene than industry giant SmileDirectClub. But when you dig a bit deeper, there are actually some major differences between these companies’ service offerings that aren’t so apparent on the surface.
We’re here to help you decipher these differences and hone in on the features that are most important to you. In this comparison review, we’ll take you on an in-depth tour of Candid and AlignerCo, and provide all the information you need to choose the best home teeth aligner for you.
Table of Contents
Overview and Recommendation
Bottom Line: Both Companies Offer Big Savings and Convenience
There’s a lot to like about both of these companies. Compared to in-office treatments like Invisalign, either one is a convenient and affordable alternative. Choose Candid or AlignerCo and you’ll receive a set of custom invisible aligners shipped directly to your door. But those are just the basics. When we dig further into the details, these companies aren’t quite as similar as they might seem.
Two Great Companies, but Candid Gets Our Vote
AlignerCo is the most affordable option out there, but cost is just one aspect of home aligner treatment. When you take everything into consideration, we believe that Candid is the more effective and convenient option. They go above and beyond to ensure top-quality treatment.
Why do we rank Candid higher than AlignerCo? Two reasons:
- Orthodontist Supervised: Candid guarantees that an orthodontist will design and oversee your treatment, while AlignerCo uses both orthodontists and general dentists, so there’s no promise that you’ll have the most specialized professional working on your case. General dentists are certainly qualified, but orthodontists have extensive training in the art of moving teeth and crafting beautiful smiles.
- Product Design: When it comes down to the nitty-gritty of Candid and AlignerCo’s aligners, we prefer Candid’s design. Their aligners appear frosted rather than shiny, which most users find to be less visible. Candid’s aligners are also cut straight across at the top, while AlignerCo’s are scalloped. Although some providers claim a scalloped cut makes the aligners less noticeable, a straight cut is thought to exert more pressure on the teeth and allow for faster and more effective teeth movements.
All that said, there’s a lot to like about AlignerCo as well, especially when it comes to cost. They aim to be the most affordable provider in the industry, and they’ve thoroughly succeeded. AlignerCo’s standard price of $1,145 is significantly cheaper than the industry average.
But at the end of the day, this decision isn’t just about money. It’s also about your safety and well-being, and we trust that Candid puts the safety of their customers first.
One of the first things many adults check when considering home aligner treatment is their budget. Which provider offers lower prices? This is where AlignerCo shines, offering the lowest prices of all the companies we reviewed.
Considering the quality of their treatment, Candid offers decent value, but AlignerCo is a consistent favorite for anyone on a tight budget who’s looking for a cost-effective option. However, affordability isn’t one-dimensional. Make sure to also look beyond price tags to consider financing options and other perks as well.
- $2,400 sticker price
- Initial payment includes aftercare retainers
- Impression kit is $95 (or free at a Candid Studio location)
- Financing requires a credit check and a down payment
- $1,145 sticker price
- Initial payment includes aftercare retainers.
- Impression kit is also included in the sticker price.
- Multiple financing options – one requires a soft credit check, the other requires a downpayment
AlignerCo’s standard pricing beats the rest of the field by a long shot. Their listed price is $1,145, which is several hundred dollars cheaper than the industry average. This upfront cost includes your aligners, impression kit, and aftercare retainers.
By contrast, Candid charges $2,400, and this includes retainers, but not the impression kit. You can, however, skip the impressions by visiting a Candid Studio for free teeth scans. This higher cost is due to their Remote Monitoring service, which includes consistent orthodontist oversight and a specialized “ScanBox” device for taking images of your teeth.
Payment Plan Options
The initial cost isn’t everything, though. Most people don’t have $1,200-2,400 of disposable cash in their pocket, so financing is an important part of aligner affordability. Both of these companies offer financing, but there are subtle differences between their plans:
- Candid’s 6-24 months financing plans do require a credit check and often consist of a $399 down payment followed by payments as low as $99/month.
- AlignerCo has two different financing options:
- SmileFlex requires a soft credit check and if you qualify, it’s 12 monthly payments of $110.
- SmileFlexEasy does not require a credit check but does require a $275 downpayment followed by 11 monthly payments of $95.
Both companies offer some flexibility and break the total cost into manageable chunks, although AlignerCo might be a better option if you’re not confident in your credit score. With either one, you’ll pay a bit extra to finance your care when you factor in the interest paid over time, so it’s worth it to pay upfront anyway if you can make the finances work!
Candid includes free whitening to accompany your aligners, which is a nice touch. AlignerCo doesn’t throw in free whitening, but that’s one of the things that helps them keep their sticker price low. Candid also throws in a little tool to help you remove your aligners — this is another thoughtful addition, as it makes the process much easier for any patient with limited dexterity.
Additionally, Candid’s price covers their Remote Monitoring service and equipment. This includes a “ScanBox” device that allows you to take intraoral images with your phone and regular digital check-ins with your orthodontist. The retail value for this Remote Monitoring equipment is $350.
Both companies offer strong value, especially when compared to Invisalign or braces, which will typically set you back $5,000 or more.
Home aligners are generally effective at treating mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing no matter which company you choose.
Even so, Candid and AlignerCo have each taken great strides toward superior effectiveness by partnering with reputable aligner manufacturers and providing oversight throughout treatment. While both companies deliver effective treatments, Candid’s extensive experience and Remote Monitoring service give them a slight advantage.
- Has a network made up exclusively of orthodontists
- Provides routine orthodontist check-ins with Remote Monitoring
- Partners with a reputable manufacturer (ClearCorrect)
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top for extra power
- Uses both orthodontists and dentists to create treatment plans.
- Partners with Raintree Essix, another reputable manufacturer, to produce their aligners
- Trims aligners to match your gum line, potentially sacrificing effectiveness
The person who’s directly designing and overseeing your treatment can have an influence on its quality. Candid guarantees that you’ll work with an orthodontist, while AlignerCo has a mixed team of orthodontists and general dentists.
This is a big deal because orthodontists receive several years of specialized training so they can spot and address even the most subtle alignment issues. Having an orthodontist monitoring your care increases the likelihood of an outstanding adjustment, and reduces the risk of something going wrong during your treatment.
Don’t get us wrong: AlignerCo’s general dentists are qualified, knowledgeable individuals. But they don’t necessarily have an orthodontist’s specialized experience and skill set.
Both companies agree, however, that consistent oversight is necessary for an aligner plan’s success. During AlignerCo treatment, you’re required to send photos of your teeth to your dentist/orthodontist every two weeks for feedback. Candid takes it one step further. Their Remote Monitoring service comes with specialized tools to help you take intraoral photos, which your orthodontist will review every 7-10 days. This regular evaluation helps deliver consistent results and can even speed up your treatment.
The construction, design, and materials in your aligners can have a huge impact on your treatment’s effectiveness.
A high-quality aligner is the beginning of an effective treatment. Candid partners with ClearCorrect, Invisalign’s closest competitor and a trusted partner to thousands of dentists nationwide. Therefore, when you order from Candid, you’ll know you’re getting trusted, consistently high-quality aligners.
AlignerCo’s aligners are manufactured by Raintree Essix, an established, widely-trusted dental supplies producer. Even though Raintree Essix is a respectable company, they don’t have quite the same depth of experience creating clear aligners that ClearCorrect does.
Believe it or not, the way that your aligners are cut can have an influence on their effectiveness as well.
AlignerCo trims their aligners to match your gum line, while Candid cuts theirs straight across so that they overlap the gums. There are advantages to scalloped aligners – they’re slightly less noticeable and they ensure that your aligners are hand-crafted, not 3D printed.
Straight-cut aligners overlap your gums, which might make your aligners slightly more visible, but it also makes them more effective. How? The gums help to anchor your aligners in place, giving them a point of leverage they can use to exert up to 4x more force to move your teeth.
When AlignerCo says that their scalloped aligners are less visible, they aren’t lying, but know that it may also make them slightly less effective.
Because they eliminate the need for office visits and deliver aligners directly to your home, either of these companies will provide a more convenient treatment than in-office options like Invisalign. But when we get down to details, Candid’s physical locations and average treatment times make them a more convenient choice than AlignerCo.
- Provides 20+ Candid Studios that offer free teeth scans as an alternative to impression kits
- Takes ~5 weeks to design, produce, and ship your aligners.
- Allows you to use aligners and whitening products simultaneously
- Average treatment time is 6 months
- Doesn’t have any physical locations, so you must use the impression kit.
- Takes 4-5 weeks to design, produce, and ship your aligners.
- Doesn’t currently offer whitening products
- Average treatment time is 6-11 months
Once you’ve decided to dive into home aligner treatment, you’ll probably want to get the ball rolling right away. But before Candid or AlignerCo can design your treatment plan, they need to get a look at your teeth.
This usually involves creating molds of your top and bottom arches with an impression kit. It sounds simple, but many customers report struggling with this first step. Taking impressions isn’t always easy if you’ve never done it before. But if you choose AlignerCo, you don’t have a choice – an impression kit is the only way to get started.
Candid, on the other hand, has streamlined the process by constructing Candid Studios across the country, physical locations where you can receive free teeth scans. Not only is this easier, but it’s also faster since the Candid Studio will send your digital scans to the company immediately. However, if you don’t live near a Candid Studio, you’ll need to complete an impression kit.
You might be thinking: if I’m going to straighten my teeth, why not whiten them too? This is why most home aligner companies offer whitening products to go with their aligners.
Candid even throws a whitening kit in with your aligner package for free. You can straighten and whiten your teeth simultaneously – just pump the foam into your aligners, put them on, and go about your day.
AlignerCo doesn’t sell any whitening products, let alone include them for free. But this is one of the reasons they can offer such low prices.
After submitting impressions or teeth scans, it’s time to play the waiting game. Creating a full treatment plan isn’t necessarily a quick process. It requires the dentist or orthodontist to carefully examine your teeth, decide the best course of action, then craft an entire series of aligners that will achieve your desired outcome.
So, don’t expect to find aligners waiting in your mailbox two days after you send your impressions. Even if the process isn’t immediate, you’ll want to know when you can expect your treatment to begin, but the timeline is different for each company.
On average, Candid takes 2 weeks to develop your treatment plan and 3 more to manufacture and ship your aligners, a total wait time of 5 weeks. AlignerCo operates on a similar timeline. After you return your impressions, they’ll take around 2 weeks to create your treatment plan. Once you approve the plan, you’ll receive your actual aligners in 2-3 more weeks.
A brand new smile is exciting, but it also takes time. How much time? That depends on your specific condition and the company you choose.
On average, Candid customers wrap up their treatment in 6 months. With Remote Monitoring, however, your orthodontist could shorten that timeline if you’re responding exceptionally well to treatment.
AlignerCo delivers fast results too, but their treatment could take slightly longer: anywhere between 6 and 11 months.
Glance over the websites of various home aligner companies and you’ll find a number of them claiming to have the “best looking” or “most invisible” aligners, and each for different reasons. This is because aligner aesthetics is a largely subjective category and every customer has their own preferences.
Still, that won’t stop us from giving our own opinion, one we’ve formed through extensive research. We believe that, while both companies provide highly-discreet options, Candid makes the better-looking aligner. Here’s why.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic that better matches your tooth surfaces.
- Uses straight-cut aligners that slightly overlap your gums.
- Reasonably stain resistant.
- Uses a smooth, translucent, shiny plastic.
- Scallops their aligners to match your gum line.
- Reasonably stain resistant.
Examine Candid and AlignerCo aligners side-by-side and the first thing you’ll notice is a difference in material. Candid’s aligners have a frosted, textured appearance while AlignerCo’s are smooth and translucent.
AlignerCo’s website claims that they make the “world’s clearest aligners,” and they’re definitely clear. You might think that this would make them less noticeable, but we’re not so sure. Your teeth are porous, so their surfaces are naturally matte. Therefore, aligners with a matte appearance (like Candid’s) look more natural, and translucent, smooth aligners can make your teeth look artificially shiny.
That said, aesthetic preferences vary from person to person, and some customers actually prefer translucent aligners, which they say make their smile “gleam.”
We mentioned this in the “Effectiveness” section, but it’s also worth noting here. Candid’s straight-cut aligners are more effective, but they’re also slightly more visible. Someone in close quarters could potentially see where the aligner overlaps your gums. Aligners cut to match your gum line, like AlignerCo’s, are less visible, but it’s up to you whether this advantage is worth the slightly-reduced effectiveness.
Both companies make aligners that are resistant to staining, but we would not recommend drinking colored beverages while wearing them.
Customer Service Comparison
As you weigh your options, keep in mind that you’ll be completing this entire process on your own. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have support. Every home aligner company offers customer service options, but they’re not all equally helpful.
Candid has some of the best customer support in the entire industry. Whether you have a simple question about treatment or there’s an issue with your aligners, they’re committed to providing exceptional customer support. As a smaller company, AlignerCo can provide responsive, personal care, and many customers rave about their support staff.
Candid Customer Service
AlignerCo Customer Service
- Offers numerous support platforms, including video chat.
- Provides access to your orthodontist throughout treatment
- Has received excellent customer reviews.
- Will work with you to modify your plan if you’re not satisfied.
- Provides standard support options
- Customers report highly-satisfying experiences with their support team
- You can request a refinement if you’re not happy with your results
Candid is available during standard business hours on a variety of support platforms – phone, webchat, email, and sometimes video chat. And their available every day from 9am to 7pm. AlignerCo provides the same support channels, available 9am to 6pm, Monday through Saturday. Typically, AlignerCo’s video chat service is just for impression kit assistance.
Note: Candid’s Remote Monitoring service puts you in contact with your assigned orthodontist once every couple of weeks, which allows them to address any issues as they arise. If anything comes up between check-ins, customer support is still available.
Responsiveness & Helpfulness
To gain a more comprehensive view of the customer experience, we dug into online reviews for both companies, and both appear to have very satisfied customers.
Candid is extremely responsive to customer requests for help, and we’ve encountered very few complaints in this department. Most customers report that Candid’s support team is courteous and helpful in resolving issues quickly.
Additionally, Candid has cultivated a large amount of helpful information on their website, from an extensive FAQ section to a blog with tips and guides about home aligner treatment. So, if you have a basic question, there’s a good chance that you can find an answer online and won’t even need to contact customer service.
A majority of AlignerCo’s reviews had only good things to say about their customer support team. We tested out their webchat and received a response almost immediately. Plus, they’ll respond to all email inquiries within 24 hours.
Because they’re still a relatively new company, AlignerCo’s collection of online resources isn’t as extensive as Candid’s. However, their customer service representatives should be able to provide information on just about anything you need.
Let’s say you get to the end of your treatment and aren’t 100% satisfied with what you see. Then what? First, know that if you follow your wear schedule and treatment plan exactly, there’s an extremely good chance that you’ll get the results you want. But occasionally teeth simply don’t move as expected.
If you followed your treatment plan but aren’t completely satisfied, AlignerCo lets you request refinement aligners, which cost an extra $200.
Candid doesn’t offer refunds after you’ve begun your treatment, but their orthodontists will work with you free of charge to adjust your plan and get your treatment back on track.
Both companies provide a full refund for any expenses incurred if you’re not approved as a candidate for treatment.
Candid Company Background
AlignerCo Company Background
- Founded in 2017
- Has grown to become the second-largest home aligner company in the industry.
- Made a name for themselves through high-quality products and excellent customer service
- Founded in 2019
- Dug out a niche as the most affordable home aligner option.
- Still small, but has a growing customer base.
Although they offer similar treatments, Candid and AlignerCo are very different companies. Candid is the older, more experienced business that stresses safety and effectiveness, while the younger AlignerCo has quickly established a name for themselves as the most affordable option on the market.
Through key partnerships and an unmatched standard of care, Candid quickly ascended the home aligner ranks to become the second-largest company in the space, behind only SmileDirectClub. Over the past couple of years, Candid has garnered investments and expanded into the retail space, strengthening its already formidable brand. They’ve established themselves as one of the most trustworthy, customer-focused home aligner companies out there, one that will go the extra mile to deliver high-quality products/services and ensure your safety. As more customers continue discovering Candid, we expect the company to keep growing and delivering excellent results.
AlignerCo entered the scene in 2019 but counters their inexperience with incredibly affordable prices – the lowest in the industry. Most impressively, they haven’t sacrificed product quality for these low prices. Customers flocking to AlignerCo for their cost-effectiveness are finding highly-effective treatment and excellent support as well. It’s safe to say that this upstart has quickly become a worthy competitor for industry mainstays like Candid and SmileDirectClub.
Saving money is great, but we’re not convinced that AlignerCo’s lower costs surpass Candid’s dedication to quality, effectiveness, and safety. As AlignerCo continues to grow, we’ve seen them making moves to compete in these other categories, but Candid has the edge for now.
Which Home Teeth Aligner Should You Use?
As you can see, Candid and AlignerCo have a lot in common, but their differences are where you want to focus when making a final decision. If you’re still not sure which business formation service to choose, let’s look at a couple scenarios that might help you figure out which is the better option for you.
Choose Candid if You Are:
Looking for straighter teeth on a budget, but unwilling to compromise on quality of care or support throughout the process.
Choose AlignerCo if You Are:
Searching for the lowest prices available along with reliable products and excellent customer service, and don’t mind working with a newer company.