10 similarities, differences between 3 large clear aligner companies

The popularity of custom-fit clear aligners as a teeth-straightening method continues to grow as a more discrete alternative to braces, but there are significant differences between the largest players in the clear aligner space.

Here are 10 similarities and differences between Candid, SmileDirectClub and Align's clear aligner services:

Similarities:

1. The clear aligner treatments from each program are cheaper than braces, which average between $5,000 and $6,000.
2. Each service requires the patient to wear the clear aligners for about 22 hours per day.
3. Clear aligner treatment length is generally shorter than the average one to three years braces are worn.
4. Clear aligners are meant for correcting mild to moderately crowded or spaced teeth. However, for more complex cases, traditional braces may still be recommended.

Differences:

5. With Align's Invisalign treatment, patients are monitored by dental providers. Every few weeks, patients visit their dental providers so they can monitor progress and make adjustments as needed. This level of monitoring makes  Invisalign the priciest option, with the cost of treatment averaging between $3,000 to $8,000, according to the Dental Health Society. Full treatment with Invisalign averages 12 to 18 months — the longest of the three companies.
6. While SDC and Candid clear aligner treatments don't involve in-person visits, remote-patient monitoring plays a larger role at Candid, with virtual teeth scan check-ins overseen by an orthodontist every 10 days, according to Insider.
7. SDC uses both dentists and orthodontists to oversee treatment, while Candid only uses orthodontists.
8. The cost of treatment through Candid is higher at an average of $2,400 compared to SDC's $1,950.
9. The average length of treatment time is shorter through SDC at four to six months, while it typically takes six to 11 months to complete treatment with Candid's clear aligners.
10. In addition to a standard plan with aligners meant to be worn all day, SDC offers an overnight option.

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