The Clearstep system utilises a series of thin, clear plastic positioners to gently align the teeth. Each positioner is custom made to fit your teeth and your dental requirements. It is similar to the Invisalign system and sometimes offered by some practitioners as an alternative system. Both Invisalign and Clearstep look very similar to each other in that they are clear aligners made from a see through plastic material.

How does the Clearstep system work?

The Clearstep system is divided into various stages, based upon the movement of your teeth. You will be provided with a sequence of clear coded positioners, each postitioner will be worn for two weeks before you progress on to the next one in the sequence. The system is designed to move your teeth a small amount with each positioner, so as each positoner is replaced with the next one, your teeth will be gently moved into position. This continues until your teeth are perfectly aligned, and your orthodontist will inform you that treatment has been completed.

Suitability for Clearstep

Unlike many other treatments which require the teeth to be fully developed, Clearstep can be used to treat children. The Clearstep system is very flexible and can work around the loss of baby teeth and new adult teeth coming through. However, it must be noted that as the positioners are removable, they can quite easily become lost, and treatment may take longer if the child does not wear them for the recommended 22 hours a day.

Clearstep can be used to treat any of the following dental problems:

  • Crowding and spacing issues
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Lack of symmetry between the upper and lower teeth
  • Openbite
  • Crossbite
  • Overjet (front teeth protrude)

What do the Clearstep aligners look like?

The positioners are wafer thin casings that are placed, almost like a gum shield, over the teeth. They are made from a clear plastic, making them almost invisible, most people would not be able to tell that you are wearing them, unless they got very close.

The Clearstep positioners are also removable, so can be removed on special occasions or while you are eating or brushing your teeth. There is no risk of tooth decay as with conventional wire braces, as a good dental hygiene regime can be maintained.


Clearstep positioners are often regarded as more comfortable than traditional braces. There is no need to bond any metal to the teeth, or any wires, doing away with the usual inflammation of the gums experienced by many wearers of wire braces. As each positioner gently moves the teeth, there is also no need for tightening, which also causes discomfort to those with traditional braces. You may feel some slight discomfort when you first move on to a new positioner, however, the pain should be very mild.


An initial consultation with an orthodontist will determine whether Clearstep is right for you and your dental needs. The health of your teeth will be examined and you will have a chance to ask any questions.

The next stage involves taking x-rays, photographs and moulds of your teeth, this will give the orthodontist a better idea of the treatment needed and give an estimated treatment time. Once you have decided to proceed with treatment the custom positioners will be manufactured.

You will be required to visit your orthodontist or dentist for regular check-ups, so finding a practitioner close to home or work would be wise. Most patients will have to return for check-ups every 6 weeks.

How much does the Clearstep treatment cost?

Patients can expect to pay anywhere between £1500 and £4500 for treatment. However, the cost depends upon the time taken to complete the treatment, how severe the dental problems were to begin with, and the practitioner. The positioners cannot be mass-produced, as each one is individually designed to fit perfectly over your teeth. This means that Clearstep can be more expensive than other treatments such as traditional brackets and wires.

Things to remember:

  • The positioners should be worn for 22 hours a day, any less than this may extend the treatment time and cost.
  • If you are considering this treatment for a child, you must also consider that any positioners that are lost may have to be replaced at a price.
  • Clearstep positioners can also be used in conjunction with a tooth whitening gel to improve discolouration and remove stains, this should be discussed with your orthodontist and may increase the cost of treatment.

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