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How do you make the best intraoral scanner even better?

Mads Brøkner Falkenberg Christiansen

Senior Project Manager and Head of Optics

3Shape

After receiving the Best of Class award* for the tenth year in a row, you would think our TRIOS team would be content to rest on our laurels. Well, that never happened.

Instead, we have been developing an even smaller, lighter, and easier to use intraoral scanner. Our goal: to revolutionize digital impression taking. This is a look back at how we spent more than five years of research and development in creating the TRIOS 5 Wireless intraoral scanner.

Does size matter?

The first thing you notice with TRIOS 5 is that it is small. In fact, TRIOS 5 is 30% more compact than our previous scanners and it weighs just 10.6 ounces (with battery). It is also only 10.5 inches long! In comparison, competitor scanners can weigh up to 16.5 ounces and some are more than thirteen inches in length.

How do you fit 3Shape award-winning scanning technology into 30% less space?

Reducing the size of TRIOS created a major challenge for our team: how do you fit our award-winning scanning technology into a smaller body with 30% less space?

See Mads and his colleagues talk about 3Shape TRIOS 5.

A little goes a long way

The main challenge for us was to bring to life what the dentists we worked with had told us they wanted, and then, figure how to make it smaller and technically feasible.

The TRIOS 5 was a tremendous test for us in terms of size optimization. We had to revisit every component that goes into our TRIOS scanners and see how we could redesign and optimize them.

As a result, the optics and the sensor are smaller, as well as the main board being considerably smaller and far better integrated. The main board is also able to make many more calculations even while consuming less power.

What TRIOS 5 means for practitioners

The result is our smallest and lightest intraoral scanner to date. The smaller size helps to make TRIOS 5 more ergonomic, which means less strain on your hands and wrists so it’s easier to use.

Danish dentist, Dr. Julie Dilling Saust, who tested the TRIOS 5 commented, “The scanner is much smaller, more streamlined, and handier for a woman’s hands. It seems easier to handle and scan with it.”

“The scanner (TRIOS 5) is much smaller, more streamlined, and handier for a woman’s hands,” Dr. Julie Dilling Saust, Denmark.

TRIOS 5 takes three major steps to improve hygiene when intraoral scanning

When we initially set out to create a new scanner, COVID did not exist. But as with everyone, the last few years certainly changed the way we all view hygiene. Download our whitepaper where we researched declining patient appointments. The pandemic got our team thinking about how we could create a more hygienic scanner and reduce cross contamination risk.

With TRIOS 5, we took three major steps to achieve this.

1. Autoclavable tip

We closed the autoclavable tip. So, now the tip serves to protect the scanner with scratch-free sapphire glass. The closed tip creates a microbial barrier and a more hygienic solution. You still autoclave and sterilize it like all our other tips, but we’ve removed the electronics from it, so it’s more robust.

2. Body redesign

The second improvement is the new body redesign. we have applied hygienic design principles and removed all cracks and vaults in which bacteria can build up. It has super smooth surfaces, making it very easy to clean and disinfect.

3. Single use sleeve

And lastly, we’ve included single use sleeves that fit super snugly over the scanner’s body. You simply put one on and take it off after scanning. It create a barrier between the scanner and the user.

And most importantly, TRIOS 5 has been reviewed by the FDA and is now FDA 510 K cleared.

Pocket-sizing more punch in an intraoral scanner

While hygiene and shrinking the scanner were major goals, the real breakthrough was figuring out how to make intraoral scanning easier for dental professionals.

That required not only innovating the technology but also in making the scanner more user friendly – creating a more holistic user experience. That meant the marrying of our hardware and software engineers with 3Shape’s usability team. Because, as you could imagine, each team’s discoveries could impact the other’s work.

50+ improvements to TRIOS 5 design and ease of use

TRIOS 5 introduces more than fifty improvements to its ease of use and design. While the TRIOS team worked to revamp the award-winning technology within the scanner, the usability team worked alongside us and with doctors to pinpoint what could be done to make scanning simpler. That led to some very interesting new additions to the TRIOS 5: features no other scanner in the market has.

“It’s how all the small details work together,” Signe Friis Schack, 3Shape UX and Usability Engineer

My colleague, Signe Friis Schack, UX and Usability Engineer, says that: “when creating a great user experience, it is important to remember that it is not just a single feature that counts, it’s how all the small details work together.”

When we started testing the prototypes with doctors, five new additions to the scanner really stood out in their eyes.


1. ScanAssist

One of the more important innovations is its new ScanAssist engine, intelligent-alignment technology. The ScanAssist engine serves to minimize misalignment and distortion in 3D scan models. It solves one of the most frequent difficulties, and this true for all intraoral scanner brands: distortion, misalignment, or artifacts in the scans that can lead to inaccurate models. If you have used an intraoral scanner, then you know what we are talking about. TRIOS 5’s brand new ScanAssist engine significantly reduces this.

In fact, the engine has made impression-taking so much simpler that professionals can follow the scan strategy or scanning routine they prefer. So, when you use TRIOS 5, the ScanAssist engine actually optimizes your scan while you scan. I have seen people scanning for the first time and do a full jaw scan in a minute and a half.

2. No calibration

TRIOS 5 comes factory calibrated so you never have to calibrate it! Doctors joke about what a pain calibrating can be, and how it coincidentally, always needs to be done when you have a patient waiting. The TRIOS 5 comes factory calibrated.

3. All-day battery life with Smart Power Management

We built new batteries, especially for TRIOS 5. They now include integrated LEDs so you can quickly see on the battery its charged level. And now with Smart Power Management, your TRIOS 5 will automatically switch to sleep-mode to save energy when not in use. The new batteries also last up to 66 minutes of scanning time, which pretty much equals a full day of scanning. And the battery charger can charge batteries four times faster than our previous chargers.

4. LED Ring and haptic feedback

TRIOS 5 has also added two new radical elements to the scanner, a built-in LED ring and something that we call ‘haptic feedback’. The two serve to guide you while you scan to make digital impression-taking smoother and faster. The LED ring signals the state of the scanner, e.g., ‘not connected’, ‘connected’, ‘tip is heating’ and ‘ready to scan’ as well as guiding you during scanning. While the haptic feedback (like in Apple watches) provides a vibration to signal you when your scanning gets off track.

5. Two button design

You’ll also notice that TRIOS 5 now has two buttons on top. One to power the scanner and the other to navigate in the software on your monitor. In that way, you never have to touch the computer or mouse, so you can work more hygienically and better engage with your patients.

simply.TRIOS 5

We believe that TRIOS 5’s focus on hygiene as well as all its technological innovations that make scanning so much simpler, really make it a groundbreaker for dentists wanting to go, or already are, digital.

Coupling it with 3Shape Unite’s ecosystem of treatment opportunities that enable professionals to choose and connect with treatment providers, from brands to labs, around the world, TRIOS 5 certainly changes dentistry.

Dr. Ritter’s comment says it all. TRIOS 5 is a tremendous improvement of a scanner line that had already been named the market’s best scanner for the last ten years in a row. If you want to dive deeper into all the improvements, click any of the buttons below.


“TRIOS 5 is sleek, ergonomic, it scans quickly, beautiful images, which is what you are known for. It’s a tremendous improvement from your last scanners.”


Dr. Robert Ritter, USA, after testing TRIOS 5 in our office in Copenhagen, Denmark

About Mads Brøkner Falkenberg Christiansen

Mads Brøkner Falkenberg Christiansen

Senior Project Manager and Head of Optics

3Shape

Nearly a decade ago, Mads Brøkner Falkenberg Christiansen joined a small company named 3Shape as an optics engineer. That was the beginning of an amazing journey. He now has six times as many colleagues and works on both the project and people management side.

Mads has always been interested in technology and can spend long hours finding the most flexible switch for his smart home, the best solar cells, or the coolest kiteboard. He values good products that perform well and are intuitive to use.

At 3Shape, Mads is responsible for defining and developing our new technology. Solutions that impact how millions of dental treatments are performed. Over the last few years, he has chiefly focused on the TRIOS 5 intraoral scanner.

* TRIOS 4 received the Best of Class award for intraoral scanners from the Cellerant panel in 2022.