WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Erika Joyner had braces when she was a teenager. But, like many of us, failed to keep her teeth from moving after the braces came off.
"I was a high school student and very all over the place," Joyner said.
She's now a customer at Candid's studio on South Robertson in West Hollywood.
Joyner said she couldn't imagine having to pay for braces again or finding the time for office visits. To help get her teeth back in place, Joyner visited candid's first L.A. studio for clear aligners.
"It's appealing to me because it's fast. I come in one time. It's an easy plan, you put them in and put them out and you're about your business and (it's a ) very good price," she said.
Candid, like the aligner company Smile Direct Club, is trying to make aligners more accessible and affordable. They offer a kit where you can create a mold of your teeth at home.
But at their retail store, a camera takes 3,000 photos a second, producing a 3-D scan of your teeth. The images are sent to an orthodontist who designs a treatment plan involving clear aligners. They arrive in the mail one month after your visit.
"It costs about $5,000 to $8,000 on average if you go to a traditional orthodontist. For us, it's $1,995 and that's fully baked in cost regardless of how many aligners you have, how long your treatment takes," said Bobby Ghoshal, the co-founder of Candid.
Ghoshal said advancements in technology is what allows Candid to be so cost effective. Monrovia orthodontist Kathleen Hwang said aligners have transformed the business, but are limited in what they can correct.
"As long as they're being seen by an orthodontist, it's fine. My biggest concern is when the patients go in there and all they think is getting their teeth straightened. They don't know how their roots look. They don't know if they have any cavities, gum disease, those are all things if not caught initially, and they go through the tooth straightening process, they can actually get worse," Hwang said.
And Candid agrees.
"We think the orthodontists are the Navy Seals of moving teeth. They have thousands more hours of experience. Candid does not do the clinical care," Ghoshal said.
While Candid does not have an orthodontist on site, they send all the patient information to a licensed orthodontist. If they notice someone has oral health issues, the company will refer the client to an outside doctor before prescribing aligners.
Candid is designed for customers with mild to moderate orthodonture issues.
Candid plans to open a second L.A. location before the end of the year and other Southern California locations are in the works.
Clear aligner company, Candid, opens West Hollywood studio for teeth straightening
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