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I tested 3Shape TRIOS 5 for 100 days, here's what you need to know

Dr. Carsten Blok


Colosseum Dentists, Denmark

I’ve been asked to be a beta tester for 3Shape, so I’ve been deeply involved with evaluating the just-released TRIOS 5 intraoral scanner. Being a beta tester is a great opportunity to experience first-hand all the excitement and challenges of bringing a new product to market. From glitches to glory, here’s my thoughts on working with TRIOS 5.

For the past thirty-five years my practice has focused on cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry. I was an early adopter of intraoral scanners, having owned two from one of 3Shape’s competitors.

From the beginning, I always found intraoral scanners fairly easy to use. For me, it was just a question of practice. You need to get comfortable with scanning and because there is a learning curve, you need to take your time and practice.

Why I made the switch to TRIOS scanners

When TRIOS 3 was introduced and started growing in popularity I switched over to 3Shape. My decision to change was based on the excellent reviews TRIOS was receiving and I must admit that there is also the loyalty to 3Shape being a Danish company. I am very proud of a Danish business achieving such global success.

Over the last few years, I began working with 3Shape as a beta tester. I’ve worked with the TRIOS 3 and 4 intraoral scanners. My practice is a ten-minute walk from their corporate headquarters, which is a good thing - especially as a beta tester.

As a beta tester you get to experience some funny glitches. But you still have real patients in the chair, so the solutions must work. Whenever I needed help during testing, there was usually a 3Shape engineer nearby ready to make a house call.

Being a beta tester for TRIOS 5

When 3Shape first asked me to beta test TRIOS 5, I thought the new model would be just a natural progression from the TRIOS 4. I was not prepared for the radical difference and major changes to the TRIOS 5.

With a digital impression solution, you assume that there’s not that much that can be done with a scanner. You cannot make it much faster or more accurate, so what is there left to improve?

Well before I go into details, let me just say that TRIOS 5 pretty much is a whole new ballgame.

Easy scanning

One of the things that attracted me to TRIOS scanners originally was how easy they were to scan with. They feel good in your hand.

The TRIOS 5 takes a giant leap. The scanner is smaller and more compact. The balance is better so that it is, by far, the easiest scanner to move around. The scanner’s body feels firm, very high end, and great in your hands.

They have also introduced some new technology that makes the actual scanning much easier to do.

When I first got the TRIOS 5 for testing, I was trying to image scan bodies for an implant. We were having a tough time doing it. It was not picking them up.

But in the meantime, 3Shape had sent me some software updates that I had not installed yet. I don’t know if you are like me, but when I get a software update notification, it might take a few days for me to install it.

That day I learned that as a beta tester, you need to install the updates as soon as you get them.

The 3Shape engineers were basically tweaking TRIOS 5’s software 24 hours a day.

As soon as I made the update everything changed. Scanning became so easy, and it picked up everything.

Correcting misalignment and distortion in intraoral scans

What the TRIOS 5’s new scanning technology does is repair misalignment or distortion in your scans. In my experience, these scan issues can be both a human error as well as the scanner’s. TRIOS 5 all but eliminates this.

The scanner has built in features, which I’ll talk about later, that guide you while you scan, but the big difference is that the scanner is so much better at stitching mistakes. I am now able to scan full arches, scan bodies, whatever, easier than ever before.

Feels good in my hand

TRIOS 5 feels good in my hands. Because it is better balanced and of course, wireless, it makes it so easy to maneuver. The new technology (ScanAssist) I am told allows you to basically follow your own scan path when scanning.

Now I’ve been using intraoral scanners for so many years that I instinctively use the same scan path I always have.

I would think that for dentists who are new to scanning, this would make their lives much easier. They can jump right in and start scanning.

Another thing that has changed is how the scanner records the data. The scanner tip needs to face at a slightly different angle to the teeth compared with what we are used to with 3Shape‘s previous scanners.

We had a private beta tested group on Facebook and a few of the doctors complained about this. Personally, I found it easier. But the consensus was that once you got used to the change, scanning becomes much easier. TRIOS 5 picks up data so quickly.

I would suggest watching some of the videos of doctors scanning with TRIOS 5. You will notice how smoothly it scans.

More ways TRIOS 5 makes it easier to scan

Because I have been scanning for all these years, I often do not even look at the computer screen while I scan.

The TRIOS 5 team must have been thinking of me when they added an LED ring and haptic feedback to the scanner.

The haptic feedback makes the scanner vibrate in your hand when you begin to lose the imaging. So, while you are scanning, if you get a little off or miss some data, the scanner vibrates to remind you to go back or refocus. I find it really helps me and it’s getting to the point where I no longer need to look at the computer screen at all whilst scanning.

Similarly, the LED ring on the scanner, tells you what state the scanner is in. Ready to scan, warmed up…whatever, it makes it much easier to start your scanning routine.

If you own a scanner already, you will love this: it comes factory calibrated

This next change is one that anyone who has ever owned an intraoral scanner is going to love. You do not have to calibrate the TRIOS 5. It comes factory calibrated.

If you have owned an intraoral scanner then you have experienced having a patient sitting in the chair, starting up your IOS and getting a warning that it needs to be calibrated. It is not a long process but it’s a pain, especially with the patient in a chair.

Somehow TRIOS 5 does not need to be calibrated. This is big. It makes life for my practice’s team much easier.

In TRIOS 5, the mirror, which is normally housed in a scanner tip, is instead enclosed in the scanner. That means when you change tips you are not affecting calibration. TRIOS 5 just stays calibrated.

Changes to the scanner’s battery performance

The second change is the battery life. 3Shape has increased the battery life (up to 66 minutes per battery). They have also sped up the charging time and the batteries have LED indicators on them that tell you the battery’s charge level.

TRIOS 5 Battery Light

My assistant just shakes the battery and the LED lights come on telling us how much charge is left in the battery.

Another important change is TRIOS 5 goes into sleep mode automatically when not in use. This is a fantastic benefit because we all know how sometimes batteries can run out even without using them.

The 3Shape team told me that the scanner can sit for a week in sleep mode. You just pick it up a week later and start scanning with no need to change out the battery.

Why you should consider TRIOS 5

Being part of the beta testing team opened my eyes up to the complexity in creating an intraoral scanner. Especially one that basically, rewrites the book.

It was very exciting to see the improvements come in each week via updates (when I remembered to install them) and gratifying to suggest changes to some of the software usability and see them also implemented.

The TRIOS 5 feels like a solid product in your hands. I recently tested another scanner model in Italy and that felt like a children’s toy.

With TRIOS 5, you are confident that you are getting a fantastic piece of craftmanship.

The entire workflow from scanning to using the software has been so optimized by 3Shape that I don’t see them having a competitor in the market.

The little details that make my job easier

If you worked with 3Shape Unite (it comes with TRIOS), then you know about how seamless the workflows are. They recently added a feature where you can select and save your favorite materials and implant manufacturers from the menu. Do you know what it is like to scroll through 150 implants every time you make an order, trying to remember which one is yours?

Just a little detail like this makes my job so much easier and demonstrates how much effort 3Shape puts into meeting our demands as practitioners.

In my eyes, TRIOS 5 is probably the most optimized scanner on the market. They have really tried to think of everything.

I should know because during this testing period, my 100 days, I saw every update and every change made to it.

If you are used to scanning, then you will recognize all the new benefits I have talked about in this article.

If you are completely new to scanning, I don’t think you will find a better scanner to start with. It is just so easy to use and combined with the 3Shape software and integrations, you could not be better positioned to take advantage of everything digital dentistry has to offer, and at your own pace.

I really think the TRIOS is one of the best instruments I have in the office. I heard one of the other dentists from the Copenhagen beta test group say that she literally loves her TRIOS 5. It’s kind of how I feel, and I know that there’s not too many products that I feel that way about.

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Your first 100 days with TRIOS 5

Want to know how your own first 100 days with TRIOS 5 could look? Any of our TRIOS scanners now comes with onboardingTRIOS Onboarding is currently offered in selected markets with selected resellers. Reach out to your reseller for your options. We offer 24/5 support in all main languages across all time zones. And if you’re new to 3Shape, you can enjoy TRIOS Care benefits at zero cost for 12 months. – including a customer success manager, virtual 1-1 training and consultation, and unlimited support and troubleshooting.

About Dr. Carsten Blok

Dr. Carsten Blok


Colosseum Dentists, Denmark

Dr. Carsten Blok is the founder and director of Colosseum Tandlægerne Palæklinikken, a dental practice in Copenhagen center. He has been practicing dentistry for more than 30 years.

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