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Candid takes on the aligner market from a new angle

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Candid is a relative newcomer to the clear aligner market, but has already experienced enough success with its products and partnerships to be able to switch customer bases completely. (Image: Shutterstock/Vershinin89)

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., US: Clear aligner company Candid has historically pitched its services as being for orthodontists only, using that exclusivity to further its reputation for its end-to-end platform. After announcing a partnership with 3D printing technology company Carbon last year, Candid has made some major changes. Perhaps most notable is the transition from originally working only with orthodontic practices to now offering clear aligner manufacturing to dental practices as well, according to an interview with Candid co-founder and CEO Nick Greenfield.

Though slowed somewhat, sales of clear aligner systems grew continually during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. According to data gathered by Fortune Business Insights, the market is heading into a period of incredible growth, estimated to reach US$10.04 billion (€9.11 billion) by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate of 19.7% during the 2021–2028 period.

Over the last two years, many medical practices have been forced to reduce dramatically the number of elective procedures they offer, and in many cases, orthodontic treatment fell into this category. However, the demand for at-home tooth alignment has continued to grow. As previously reported by Dental Tribune International, there are now more options than ever for dentists who have decided to offer clear aligner treatment for their patients, especially as more practices are opting to create their aligners in-house and brand and sell them directly to their patients.

In response to this demand, Candid and Carbon announced their collaboration in offering dental and orthodontic practices the new CandidPro programme in 2021. Thanks to Carbon’s proprietary Digital Light Synthesis process and powerful large-format L1 printers, CandidPro enables organisations to save money in the production of parts of all sizes and to prototype as needed.

Philip DeSimone, chief product and business development officer at Carbon, said in the press release: “Carbon’s L1 production system will enable Candid to efficiently and reliably produce millions of highly accurate aligner models and deliver bespoke solutions for each patient at scale.”

Other clear aligner providers have also developed large-scale manufacturing processes, but CandidPro’s scalability indicates an emphasis on customisation for the individual practice or organisation.

When Candid started out, its business model centred on business-to-consumer aligner offerings with a treatment programme using patient smartphones to monitor tooth alignment progress at home. At the start of 2022, Greenfield told Dental Economics in an interview that it was abandoning this strategy altogether in favour of a full focus on a business-to-business approach with CandidPro.

Greenfield noted that more patients preferred to start their treatment with a dentist or orthodontist rather than directly from a Candid stand-alone facility.

The CandidPro programme results were so impressive that Candid announced at the start of the year that it would close all of its more than 40 facilities in order to focus on working with both orthodontic and dental practices.

“We’re seeing patients who are self-scanning every two weeks. They have 85–90% compliance in wearing their aligners and wear them for 20–22 hours a day,” Greenfield said.

Greenfield also emphasised that the new model offers patient triage support and that a remote orthodontist based at Candid headquarters could manage treatment planning for dentists “who don’t feel comfortable moving teeth” owing to infrequent practice.

CandidPro providers are now present in all 50 states, said Greenfield, and international expansion will be coming soon.

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