After their introduction in the late 90s, clear aligners took the orthodontic industry by storm. Adults who weren’t interested in metal wires and brackets suddenly had other options. Today, the industry is booming with new companies, like ClearCorrect. The biggest game-changer of the past two decades, however, has been the introduction of at-home aligner treatment.
Among home aligner companies, Candid is a star who’s helping drive the industry forward. And while on the surface it might seem like ClearCorrect and Candid offer similar products, their treatments are actually fairly different, and each excels in different circumstances. If you’re deciding between these two companies, this is your go-to guide.
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The second clear aligner company to hit the market, ClearCorrect was more or less a product of necessity. In 2006, Dr. Willis Pumphrey had nearly 400 patients that needed to complete their aligner treatment, but no manufacturer. So, he started making them himself. Now, ClearCorrect is the nation’s second-largest clear aligner producer and partners with tens of thousands of dentists around the globe to transform smiles.
More than ten years after ClearCorrect entered the scene, Candid began their home aligner journey. With a former Lyft executive at the helm, Candid sought to bring the convenience of ride-sharing to orthodontic treatment without sacrificing quality or safety. A couple of key partnerships and a $15 million investment round empowered them to quickly become the second-largest company in the home aligner space, behind only SmileDirectClub. Candid’s trajectory is straight up, and it appears that they’ll only continue growing.
At-Home vs. In-Office Treatment: The Pros & Cons
As we mentioned above, even though they both produce clear aligners, ClearCorrect and Candid provide fairly different treatments. This is because ClearCorrect is administered in-office by a dentist, while Candid’s aligners are developed remotely by a licensed dental professional and applied at home.
Which is better? The answer isn’t so straightforward. Each has its own unique advantages and drawbacks.
Pros of In-Office Treatment:
- In-office aligner treatments can incorporate attachments like elastics that allow them to treat more severe tooth and jaw misalignments.
- Regular office visits allow dentists to carefully monitor your progress and adjust or supplement your treatment if necessary.
- In-office treatments provide more personalized customer service, as you can take any questions or concerns directly to your dentist.
Cons of In-Office Treatment:
- Because you’re also paying for your dentist’s time, in-office treatment is often more expensive than at-home treatments.
- Making regular office visits is more time-consuming and less convenient than at-home treatment.
Pros of At-Home Treatment:
- At-home aligners are, on average, much more affordable than in-office treatments.
- Because they don’t require office visits, home aligner treatments are often more convenient.
- At-home aligner treatments typically take around 6 months to achieve the desired results, while in-office treatments often take around 12.
Cons of At-Home Treatment:
- They’re not able to treat more severe cases of crowding, spacing, and bite misalignments like in-office aligners can.
- Depending on the company, customer support isn’t as personalized as what you’ll receive with in-office aligners.
At-home and in-office aligners are both quality options, but which one you choose largely depends on your unique condition and situation. For example, an in-office brand might be more effective for someone with a severe overbite. However, an at-home brand could be preferable for someone with a mild case of spacing who is also on a tight budget.
ClearCorrect and Candid each present their own unique treatments with specific nuances and perks. Let’s dig into the details to find out where each company excels.
Low-quality products and ineffective procedures aren’t just frustrating; they can be dangerous as well. Fortunately, both ClearCorrect and Candid prioritize quality and safety — each is backed by extensive positive results and customer experiences. Even though both companies deliver reliable treatments, they have very different processes and are effective in treating different conditions.
- Can treat mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, and some bite issues
- Isn’t compatible with any supplemental attachments
- The CandidMonitoring service provides digital check-ins with their clinical team.
- Aligners use plastic from a trusted, experienced dental materials company called Zendura.
- Aligners are cut straight across for more power and faster treatment time
- Can treat almost any condition that braces can by employing supplemental attachments called “Engagers”
- Office visits provide regular evaluations by a dentist or orthodontist
- Aligners use plastic from a trusted, experienced dental materials company called Zendura
- Aligners are cut straight across for more power and faster treatment time
What Can They Treat?
Candid is very effective when it comes to correcting mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, along with some minor bite issues. ClearCorrect, however, can effectively treat these conditions, plus a whole lot more.
During ClearCorrect’s regular office visits, your dentist will have an opportunity to enhance your treatment by adding other orthodontic appliances like elastics or proprietary attachments called “Engagers.” These tiny buttons affix to the surfaces of your teeth to induce more complex movements, increasing effectiveness. With this combination of aligners and appliances, ClearCorrect can treat not just crowding and spacing, but more severe cases, including bite misalignments.
ClearCorrect functions as its own manufacturer and they’re the second-largest clear aligner manufacturer in the U.S. They use plastics from Zendura, so you can be confident that your aligners are made from top-quality plastics, sturdy and structurally sound.
Candid used to partner with ClearCorrect to produce their aligners. However, this partnership has ended and they now manufacture their aligners from premium Zendura plastics in house. This gives them control over the entire production process.
ClearCorrect can be administered by either a dentist or an orthodontist, so the choice is up to you. You might prefer to go with your usual dentist (if they’re a provider) so you can have your teeth straightened at the same office where you get them cleaned. Or, you might decide to get a referral for an orthodontist instead.
For what it’s worth, Candid works exclusively with orthodontists to create and oversee your treatment plan. These orthodontists work remotely, but still possess a high level of expertise. An orthodontist is more specialized than a general licensed dentist. They spend 6 postgraduate years studying the art of moving teeth and crafting smiles. Candid is one of the only home aligner companies that use an orthodontist-only network.
And Candid goes a step further and gives you access to your orthodontist throughout the treatment process. With their CandidMonitoring system, you’ll use a special device to send intraoral images to their team every 14 days. This way, they can regularly evaluate your progress, and bring in your assigned orthodontist to make adjustments if any issues arise. It’s not quite as effective as physical office visits, but it’s the next best thing.
Cost is one of the most common concerns for adults seeking teeth straightening treatment. And it’s one of the largest differences between ClearCorrect and Candid.
It’s no secret that orthodontic treatment is an investment. You want an effective, high-quality treatment, but not one that’s going to land you in a tough financial position. In general, at-home options are more affordable than in-office ones. Candid’s sticker price is about average for the at-home aligner industry, and it’s significantly less expensive than ClearCorrect. But affordability is multifaceted, so you’ll also want to consider financing, payment plans, insurance coverage, and more.
- $1,895 sticker price
- Aftercare retainers cost $99
- Offers in-house and third-party financing plans. Both require a credit check, although nearly everyone qualifies for the in-house plan
- Is in-network for certain companies, allowing them to take direct payments from the insurance provider
- No set sticker price, but the average cost is $4,000-5,500
- Aftercare retainers can cost anywhere from $100-300, depending on the dentist
- Partners with a company called CareCredit to provide financing for both providers and patients, but a credit check may be required
- Dentist offices can receive payments directly from insurance companies, so your insurer can pay them directly
Because there are no office visits involved, Candid’s treatment is generally less expensive than ClearCorrect’s. They charge $1,895 upfront, which is average for home aligner treatment. Plus, you’ll need to pay $95 for a Starter Kit (unless you visit a Candid Studio) and $99 for aftercare retainers.
ClearCorrect doesn’t have one set price because it depends on your specific dentist and the severity of your condition. But most often, you can expect to pay $4,000 – $5,500 for their standard treatment. For milder cases, ClearCorrect offers a few alternate plans. Limited 6 and Limited 12 are primarily for very mild cases of crowding and spacing and use 6 or 12 aligners, respectively. Or, you can go with their “Flex” plan, where you pay per aligner. So, if your condition requires very few aligners, you could end up saving a decent amount of money.
What About Insurance?
Unfortunately, your insurer may not cover the cost of treatment for either ClearCorrect or Candid. Sometimes, insurance companies consider orthodontic treatment purely cosmetic and refuse coverage. Insurance providers are more likely to cover in-office treatments than at-home ones, but Candid is in-network with certain insurance companies and you can potentially receive partial coverage for either option.
Let’s say that your insurer does provide coverage. The process is different for each company. Even though they’re a remote service, Candid has partnerships with Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Empire BlueCross, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, and Aetna, where they’re considered an in-network provider. If you have insurance from one of these companies, Candid says you could save around $1,000 at checkout, although it depends on your specific plan.
Insurance doesn’t always cover orthodontic treatment, and you might not have thousands of dollars lying around. But don’t worry, because you could receive financing for either treatment. Candid has two different financing options. The first is an in-house option that requires a $199 down payment, then $65 monthly payments for 36 months. It requires a credit check but nearly everyone qualifies. They also offer financing through a third-party company called Affirm, which requires a more selective credit check, but has 0% APR and no down payment.
ClearCorrect offers payment plans from CareCredit for all providers and their patients. However, some options for CareCredit financing (like deferred payments) require credit approval. Your dentist or orthodontist may choose to offer this CareCredit financing, or they may have other plans. Check with your dentist’s office to see what options they provide.
Any kind of orthodontic treatment takes time and dedication. If you already have a lengthy to-do list, this can seem like one too many commitments. Fitting in treatment between your work, family, and social responsibilities might be intimidating, but clear aligners can actually be fairly convenient. While ClearCorrect offers some advantages, at-home aligner systems like Candid are significantly more convenient, as they don’t require any office visits.
- You’ll have the option of either ordering an impression kit online or visiting a Candid Studio location for a free 3D scan
- Treatment is completed entirely at home — no office visits required
- Average treatment time is 6 months
- An in-person consultation with a dentist is required to get started, including digital scans and photos
- Requires monthly office visits to monitor progress and receive new aligner sets
- Average treatment time is 12 months, but Limited and Flex plans could take as little as 6 months.
The first step on your teeth straightening journey can sometimes be the hardest. This isn’t just because it’s a big commitment, but also because the startup procedures aren’t always user-friendly, especially for home aligner companies.
Before they can design and produce your aligners, these companies need to get a look at your teeth. So, you’ll often need to purchase and complete an impression kit. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult process if you have no experience taking impressions. While Candid does offer impression kits, they also operate 30+ physical Candid Studio locations where you can go for a free teeth scan instead.
Getting started with ClearCorrect isn’t overly difficult either. You simply schedule a consultation with your dentist or orthodontist, then discuss your treatment options. They can professionally take impressions and X-rays of your teeth, then begin crafting your treatment plan.
At-Home vs. In-Office Application
During your ClearCorrect treatment, you’ll need to schedule regular office visits so that your dentist can monitor your progress and make adjustments when necessary. This means that you’ll be spending some of your precious free time (or taking time off work) to schedule and attend these appointments. When your schedule is already busy, that’s no easy task, and not an exciting one either.
Candid eliminates these office visits, saving you a solid chunk of time each month. You will need to administer your treatment yourself, and there’s no opportunity for mid-treatment modifications. But, your treatment will be much less time-consuming.
By implementing the CandidMonitoring system, Candid provides clinical oversight throughout the process. Since they just use digital images, these check-ins aren’t nearly as thorough as office visits, but they’re much easier to complete.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
This is one of the most common questions we hear. That’s because adults sometimes pursue teeth straightening treatment for a specific occasion, like a wedding, graduation, or another event. If this describes you, compare the treatment timeline with your calendar to see if it can deliver your desired results in time.
On average, Candid’s treatment time is 6 months — about half of ClearCorrect’s typical 12-month timeline. Aside from that, there are certain circumstances that might make your treatment longer or shorter for each company, but most of the time, this is what you can expect.
While all clear aligner companies excel at producing discreet treatment options, each has added its own unique twists in an effort to make them even less intrusive. Different customers have different tastes and aesthetic preferences, so the answer to which aligners are “best looking” will vary depending on who you ask. As you examine ClearCorrect and Candid aligners, consider your own preferences to help you decide which brand you’ll find better looking.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic that better matches your tooth surfaces
- Aligners are cut straight across to make them more powerful, but they may be more visible
- Reasonably stain resistant
- Attachments are not offered, so aligners stay smooth and less noticeable
- Aligners are slightly opaque and look natural
- Aligners are cut straight across to make them more powerful, but they may be more visible
- Reasonably stain-resistant
- Supplemental appliances, such as attachments or elastics, will make aligners more visible
Some aligner companies produce smooth, translucent aligners, and others make frosted, textured ones. You might think that the translucent aligners are less visible, but that’s not actually the case. Because your teeth are covered in tiny pores, they have a naturally matte appearance. Frosted, textured aligners better mimic this appearance, so they blend in a bit better. Smooth, clear aligners can be reflective and look artificially shiny. Both Candid and ClearCorrect produce frosted aligners, so either one will look natural on your teeth.
Still, this is just one opinion. Some customers report liking a translucent aligner better because they like the “gleam” it gives their teeth.
Much like aligner materials, companies use two primary methods for trimming their aligners: straight across the top and scalloped along the gum line. Candid and ClearCorrect both use a straight cut that slightly overlaps the gums. A straight cut allows the aligners to leverage the gums for increased power, but it can also be more visible than aligners that match the gum line.
Additional Dental Appliances
ClearCorrect can treat a wide variety of conditions, including severe bite issues. But, the added versatility could come at a cost. In order to treat more significant tooth and jaw misalignments, your dentist may employ additional orthodontics like elastics or Engagers. Each of these will make your aligners slightly more visible since they’re adding to the amount of hardware on your teeth.
Supplemental appliances aren’t available with Candid’s treatment, so this added visibility isn’t a concern. You’ll receive the clear aligners and no other attachments.
Patient Experience Comparison
You probably have a clear vision of how your clear aligner treatment will begin and end. But what happens in between? That’s the meat of the deal, the nitty-gritty, the day-in-day-out treatment. And how your provider handles it can make or break the experience. Customer service, oversight, refund policies, and more all contribute to your total patient experience. And while Candid has some of the best customer support among home aligner companies, ClearCorrect’s in-person support and oversight give it the edge.
Candid Patient Experience
ClearCorrect Patient Experience
- Customer service is available via phone, email, and webchat
- Customer service is a high priority, very few negative reviews or complaints
- CandidMonitoring provides consistent oversight, but it’s not as thorough as office visits
- Does not offer refunds, but will provide refinements if your results don’t match the treatment preview
- Your dentist’s office functions as your primary customer support contact
- You have the option of speaking with your dentist in-person
- Office visits allow your dentist to better keep track of your progress
- Refinements don’t typically cost extra. Refunds depend on the office
During ClearCorrect treatment, your dentist or orthodontist’s office functions as your primary customer support contact, so you’ll need to check their contact channels and availability. This is nice because it gives you direct access to the person who’s managing your care.
Candid has service representatives available by phone, email, and webchat from 9am to 7pm every day of the week (including weekends). You can also reach out on social media and you’ll likely receive a response within 24 hours.
In studying Candid’s customer reviews, we found that customers are generally satisfied with their level of customer care. Candid’s support team appears accessible, responsive, and helpful. So, if you choose them, you can be confident that they’ll have your back if any problems come up.
ClearCorrect’s in-person support, however, adds another level of personalization. Working through your dentist’s office gives you a personal contact who knows you and your teeth, and can quickly, thoughtfully address your concerns. And if you have serious concerns, you can always schedule an office visit so your dentist can examine your teeth.
Warranty & Refund Policies
If you’re someone who imagines worst-case scenarios, you might be wondering what will happen if your treatment doesn’t go as planned. Let’s say you’re four months into your aligner plan and simply not seeing the progress you expected.
Unfortunately, Candid will not offer a refund. But since they’re committed to customer satisfaction, their orthodontists will work with you to adjust your plan free of charge. CandidMonitoring somewhat mitigates this issue by giving their team regular updates on your progress, so they can ensure that your treatment proceeds as expected. If you do need refinements, however, you’ll need to complete and submit a new impression kit.
Even so, CandidMonitoring isn’t as intensive as in-office care. Your dentist will be monitoring and adjusting (if necessary) your ClearCorrect treatment plan as you go along. They can add or remove attachments or create new aligners on the fly if necessary. Because of this, they’re more able to make course corrections mid-treatment if things don’t progress as expected. ClearCorrect doesn’t have a company-wide refund policy, because these processes are handled by individual dentists and orthodontists.
If you end up needing refinements, you won’t have to pay for them as long as you’re on ClearCorrect’s Unlimited plan. If you’re on the Flex plan, you’ll likely need to pay an extra fee.
Which Should You Choose?
Once again, both of these companies offer quality, effective clear aligner treatments. Neither one is clearly or inherently better than the other. Rather, each one has its own strengths and each excels in different circumstances. So, your decision should be based on your unique condition, goals, and expectations.
Who Should Choose Candid?
Anyone looking for a fast, convenient treatment that doesn’t sacrifice quality or customer service should take a look at Candid.
Who Should Choose ClearCorrect?
If you’re dealing with severe misalignment, or are uncomfortable administering treatment on your own, ClearCorrect might be a better choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose ClearCorrect or Candid?
It’s a tough call, but we like Candid. They’re faster, cheaper, and more convenient, but they still ensure safety and effectiveness with their orthodontist-directed care and CandidMonitoring.
However, they can’t treat severe cases, including bite issues like overbite and underbite. Those conditions are better suited to an in-office treatment like ClearCorrect. See our full review guides on Candid and ClearCorrect for more information.
How do I get started with ClearCorrect or Candid?
For ClearCorrect, you’ll need to visit your dentist or orthodontist. They’ll assess your teeth and help you determine the best route forward. If you decide on ClearCorrect, they’ll also make impressions or take 3D teeth scans to get the process going. Getting started with Candid is slightly different.
Most customers order an impression kit to make molds of their teeth at home. But they also maintain 30+ retail locations called Candid Studios where you can get a free teeth scan instead.
How much do ClearCorrect and Candid cost?
There’s not a set ClearCorrect cost. It can vary depending on your condition, dentist, insurance, and location. But the average treatment costs $4,000-5,500. Candid has just one flat rate: $1,895, which includes all of your aligners and the CandidMonitoring equipment. Check out our guide to the true cost of Candid for a closer look.
What are ClearCorrect and Candid customers saying?
It’s tough to get a consensus on ClearCorrect’s customer satisfaction because their treatment and customer service are handled by individual dentist offices. But based on the reviews we could find, customers are generally pleased with their results and customer experience. Candid customers have high praise for the company’s products, results, and customer service. It appears that they provide a consistently excellent customer experience.
How long do ClearCorrect and Candid take?
Since ClearCorrect usually handles more severe cases, the treatment often takes longer, 12 months on average. Candid can correct most conditions in around 6 months. However, these timelines can be shorter or longer depending on the severity of your condition and how consistently you wear your aligners.
What’s the difference between ClearCorrect and Candid?
ClearCorrect is an in-office treatment, so you need to schedule regular office visits where your dentist or orthodontist can monitor your progress and provide new aligners. Candid, on the other hand, doesn’t require any office visits. They ship all of your aligners at once and give you directions remotely via the CandidApp.
The lack of office visits make home aligners cheaper and faster, but it also means that you won’t have in-person oversight. Candid ensures safe treatment by providing CandidMonitoring, which allows their clinical team to evaluate your progress every step of the way.
Do ClearCorrect and Candid provide financing?
Candid’s in-house financing plan requires a $199 down payment, then 36 monthly payments of $65. It requires a credit check, but nearly everyone is approved. They also offer financing through a third party called Affirm, which requires a more selective credit check, but has 0% APR and no down payment.
ClearCorrect doesn’t have a set payment plan because each dentist’s office has its own financing. Your dentist will most likely have a payment plan for you, but it might also involve a credit check.
What conditions can ClearCorrect and Candid treat?
ClearCorrect can treat almost any dental or jaw misalignment because it can incorporate supplemental attachments for more power and intricacy. Because Candid doesn’t have the same in-person oversight and available attachments, it’s restricted to treating mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
Overall, Invisalign is capable of handling the widest range of conditions, making it the most effective treatment. But if you prefer at-home care, Candid is the most effective home aligner company. They can’t correct the same scope of conditions as Invisalign, but their orthodontist-directed care and remote monitoring make it a highly effective option.
Read our full guide to the most effective home aligners for other high-quality treatments.
What is the fastest clear aligner company?
Byte. Their average treatment takes just 3-4 months, while most other home aligner companies take around 6. Even Byte At-Night takes 4-6 months, right around the industry average. Get to know Byte a little better by reading our in-depth Byte review.
What is the cheapest clear aligner company?
AlignerCo. At just $1,145, their price beats every competitor by a few hundred dollars, and sometimes they run promotions that drop it even lower. And if you can’t pay that up front, you can jump on a financing plan, regardless of your credit score.
What other companies should I consider?
If you like the idea of home aligners, take a look at Byte, SmileDirectClub, and AlignerCo. Byte (our #1 pick) has the fastest treatment times (3-4 months on average), SmileDirectClub is the largest and most experienced home aligner company, and AlignerCo has the Industry’s lowest prices ($1,145).
But if you prefer in-office treatment, you can’t go wrong with Invisalign, who has the industry’s most cutting edge technology, strongest brand, and longest track record.
Does insurance cover clear aligners?
Sometimes. Most insurance providers don’t cover home aligner treatment, although some might if you have orthodontic benefits. They’re more likely to cover an in-office treatment like ClearCorrect. The only way to find out for sure is to contact your provider and ask.
Are home aligners safe?
Yes! While administering treatment from home might seem daunting, the process is very safe. Home aligner companies use state-licensed dentists and orthodontists to create your treatment plan and design your aligners. Even though you won’t meet with them in-person, each company offers robust customer support services if something doesn’t feel quite right.
Do home aligners hurt?
When you switch to a new aligner set every two weeks, you might experience some discomfort for the first day or two, but after that, you’ll hardly notice them.