Nov 22, 2017 | By Benedict

New York-based teeth straightening startup Candid has raised $15 million in a Series A financing round. The round was led by Greycroft, Bessemer, and e.ventures, and the funds will be used to expand operations and find new customers for the company’s customized 3D printed aligners.

Back in September, we reported that New York City startup Candid was developing FDA-approved, 3D printed dental aligners that could be purchased for a quarter of the price of Invisalign.

The solution, which involves taking a bite into a mail-order tooth modeling kit and sending it back to Candid, has now won over keen investors, with a Series A financing round led by Greycroft, Bessemer, and e.ventures closing at $15 million. (The round also received contributions from existing investors like Arena Ventures.)

It’s huge news for the dental startup, which has now raised $17 million in total (following a $2 million seed round) and which can now start thinking about marketing its 3D printed dental solution to a much wider audience.

Has the startup’s rapid rise taken you by surprise? It shouldn’t have. The U.S. is obsessed with teeth, and a 2012 study by the American Association of Orthodontists revealed that one-third of American adults were unhappy with their smile.

But despite America’s fondness for pearly whites, high costs of dental care make it difficult for the average worker to achieve that movie star smile.

And while Candid isn’t doing anything particularly revolutionary in manufacturing terms—dental giant Align Technology has used SLA 3D printing on its massively popular Invisalign dental solution—it is doing it in a way that is both cheap and convenient for the consumer.

Unsurprisingly, that’s proven to be a massive draw for regular folk who can’t afford to splurge half their salary on what’s in their mouth. Need proof? In addition to this successful financing round, Candid sold out its entire inventory within three weeks of its September 2017 launch.

With the significant funds raised during the Series A financing round, Candid now plans to accelerate its rollout, taking its direct-to-consumer model to more customers and letting them carry out the new dental process in their own home.

In this way, Candid differs from Align Technology, even though both dental companies use 3D printing to produce their personalized aligners.

Align, on the one hand, recommends that customers see a specialist who can use the company’s own iTero digital scanning system (or similar) to take a complete 3D scan of their mouth. Candid, on the other hand, asks customers to use a DIY Modeling Kit to take molded impressions of their smiles at home, along with photos.

Depending on what you think of dentists, the do-it-at-home Modeling Kit can either be a good or a bad thing. It makes the entire package cheaper, which is great, and allows those with busy schedules to make the impression at their own convenience. On the other hand, seeing a professional and getting a digital 3D scan can produce much more accurate results, hence Invisalign’s premium price of $8,000. (Regular braces can cost up to $7,000.)

That’s not to say that the Candid solution won’t work properly, of course. The promising startup claims to have a large network of orthodontists that can assess a submitted Modeling Kit before transforming the impression into a clear 3D printed aligner at Candid’s lab.

At the end of the day, however, it’s that appealing price tag on the Candid solution that’s got investors and potential customers foaming at the mouth and putting aside concerns over the accuracy of DIY dentistry.

So how cheap is it? The company says an average treatment lasts five months, for which financing starts at $88 per month over 24 months. Another option is to pay $1,900 up front, and some dental insurance plans will cover at least half of the treatment cost. All in all, Candid thinks this makes its 3D printed dental solution around 65 per cent cheaper than traditional in-office teeth-straightening solutions.

Reassuringly, Candid will even refund its initial $95 needed to receive a Modeling Kit if the customer’s dental problems prove too severe for the Candid treatment.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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Nathan wrote at 12/4/2017 5:52:17 PM:

These are not directly printed. Both Align and Candid 3D print models which are used in a thermoforming process to produce the aligners. Candid's FAQs mention the materials the aligners are made from which the name brand is a thermoforming material company. Just FYI.



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