Internet Explorer is not supported
Sorry, please use another browser such as Google Chrome or MozillaFirefox

Insider tips on how to perfect your TRIOS scan technique

Mariia Portnova

Team Lead, Customer Success


Within digital dentistry and intraoral scanning, a central skill to master is to have a correct scanning technique. It is the first step of a complex, fine-tuned process, and if you get that step wrong, nothing else you do afterward can fix it.

As a Customer Success Manager at 3Shape, as my job title suggests, I have the luxury of guiding and instructing dental teams on this all day long. So read on and let me share the TRIOS scan technique best practices and ways to tackle the most common challenges.

As my colleague Svitlana from our Support team (which I used to be a part of) has done in her blog posts on TRIOS scanner support and TRIOS software support, I will now in this blog post proactively help all users who are ready to improve their TRIOS scan.

Are you ready to improve your intraoral scanning technique, to get the very best results out of every single TRIOS scan?

And are you ready to “fix” the part of your intraoral scanning workflow that all the other parts fully depend on?

Why wait? Let’s do it.

First, a ready-made formula that you’ll get presented in all 3Shape TRIOS training:


The above steps should be easy enough to follow - and even easier with TRIOS 5, as that comes with ScanAssist. But we’re only getting started. To truly get perfect scans, there are a few non-negotiable rules that every TRIOS training will address.

And let us get them out there right now:

The golden rules of taking a great TRIOS scan

  • Before you start scanning, check the front glass on the scanner for any scratches, water stains, and dirt.
  • Calibrate the scanner for 3D and color at regular intervals to maintain the best scanning accuracy (if you have a TRIOS 3 or 4 - TRIOS 5 comes calibration free).
  • Don’t use the dental lamp during scanning—this can affect scan results.
  • Wait a moment until the scanning tip heats up.
  • Dry the teeth well before scanning as—excessive saliva can affect scan quality.
  • For ideal bite registration, cover the upper and lower teeth equally. Keep scanning until the arch snaps into place. Scan 3-4 teeth for perfect alignment even if the scans snap together earlier.
  • If the clicking sound stops, return to the area indicated by the box.
  • Use a mouth mirror or a finger to keep the tongue, cheek, and lips away from the scan area.

If not on the wall, then nail these rules to the wall of your mind. They make or break scans. And now that we have established the ground rules, let’s dig into the most common challenges users face, and of course how to overcome those.

TRIOS scanner training in a nutshell: how to overcome scanning challenges

1. You see a ghost image in your TRIOS scan

If you see a ghost image, you probably moved the scanner too abruptly while scanning.

As a result, you accidentally started adding new images in the incorrect area, creating a “new tooth”.

Getting rid of the ghost image

When you see a ghost image, stop the scanner and select the Trim tool. Delete the ghost image and begin scanning on the same molar you previously scanned.

If the error is too big, clear or delete the whole scan and start the scanning process from the beginning.

2. You face a stitching error in your TRIOS scan

This can occur if you don’t follow the scanning strategy correctly, and some data is missing.

As a result, the 3D model won’t represent the correct tooth shape once you are done with post-processing. This is less likely to happen with TRIOS 5 and it’s intelligent ScanAssist engine.

Fixing a stitching error

Stop the scanner and turn off the colors. Then select the Trim tool and remove the area. Return to scanning, beginning on the previously scanned tooth and move forward slowly to the trimmed area. Then continue scanning until the whole area is properly scanned.

If the error is too big, clear or delete the whole scan and start the scanning process from the beginning.

3. You miss certain areas in your TRIOS scan

The reason why an area is missing is that there is that information is lacking while scanning. Missing areas will be highlighted in color after you complete the scanning.

Addressing the missing areas

Re-scan those missing areas. And do so slower, putting the scanner closer, to ensure that the correct morphology of teeth is preserved after post-processing.

4. Saliva causes you problems

This happens when the surface wasn’t properly dried before scanning. It may distort the image.

Fixing the saliva problem

If it happens, dry the surface of the teeth carefully and re-scan the area.

5. Occlusion scanning with TRIOS: the automatic bite registration doesn’t work

The jaws may not always snap into position automatically. There are different reasons for this. The teeth may have complex anatomical shapes, the scans may be insufficiently trimmed (gingiva, in particular, after the last molars), or force may be applied during biting. But you can fix this manually.

Aligning the bite registration manually

If you want to do this manually, you can choose either the 1-point or 3-point manual alignment option. Select the option within the software, and simply follow the instructions.

Please keep this in mind when scanning the bite with TRIOS:

  • Make sure to orient the jaw scan correctly
  • Make sure you are looking at the correct side of the bite scan
  • Mark the same point on the jaw scan and the bite scan for manual alignment
  • Turn the tip (if you use TRIOS 3 or 4) to scan the upper jaw
  • Begin with the side where the patient has more teeth (left or right side doesn’t matter)
  • If many teeth are missing, put a cotton roll into the gap when scanning the bite

The next illustration shows you how to align the bite manually when TRIOS scanning:

6. Scanning multiple implants with TRIOS

Scanning multiple implants can be difficult if you don’t have a great scanner. The implants may look similar, are small and surrounded by soft tissue. Luckily, if you have a TRIOS you do have a great scanner.

How to perform the multiple-implants scan

Make sure to disable the color before scanning scan bodies. And when scanning neighboring scan bodies, scan them one by one, using the lock surface tool. This will prevent gingiva from collapsing.

Certified by 3Shape: 3 implants and a 22 mm gap between them

Where to find additional TRIOS scanner training?

If you havent had the chance to be onboarded by me or one of my colleagues, but are keen on getting digital dentistry training, then the place to go is our 3Shape Community, where you can find the following:

  1. TRIOS scanner training explaining everything from fundamentals to scan techniques for all possible indications.
  2. CAD software training on how to work with visualization, design or planning software.
  3. Treatment training diving into prosthetics, dentures or cosmetics treatments from start to finish.
TRIOS trainings
Here’s to your success!


Mariia Portnova

Team Lead, Customer Success


Mariia has worked with 3Shape since 2018, focusing on customer support and training ever since. She has specialized in providing training on TRIOS and Unite, and she interprets her work in a very straightforward way: "My team is called Customer Success—what I want is for our customers to have success.

I imagine the satisfaction I feel at the end of my workday is similar to how doctors feel when helping patients live better lives. I can’t fix a bridge, but I can help doctors help as many of their patients as possible with the most perfect bridges. I do that by offering TRIOS scanner training and onboarding, and thereby helping doctors master the art of TRIOS scanning".

Read also

Get a perfect start with your 3Shape TRIOS with our onboarding program

Dr. Ornella Delli-Rocili Chiabrera

General practitioner/Global Training & Application Specialist

TRIOS Hardware: insider tips from 3Shape Support

Svitlana Hubal

Senior Team Lead, Customer Care

Insider tips from 3Shape Support: Unite software

Svitlana Hubal

Senior Team Lead, Customer Care