What is the Trios Scanner in Orthodontics and How is It Used?

The Trios Scanner is an intraoral scanner from 3Shape. Basically, what it does as an intraoral scanner (IOS) is that it captures optical impressions directly.

Since the 18th century, dentists have turned to conventional impression methods to come up with a 3D representation of a patient’s dental tissues. However, the latest technologies have called for a change. Newer impression materials surfaced. There were also some issues with high-expansion dental stones, particularly with its error-prone results. The existing methods also required the services of a better and more high-tech laboratory.

Thus, the dental impression sought for a much more reliable technique.

One of the ways that helped overcome those difficulties was using an intraoral scanner, such as a Trios Scanner. These scanners were introduced in dental practices, which coincided with the development of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) in dentistry.

Oasis Orthodontics is among the dental offices in Western Australia that utilise this breakthrough in dental technology. It offers plenty of benefits for practitioners and the patients as well.

How It Works

The Trios Scanner and other IOS devices are composed of three parts:

  1. Computer
  2. Software
  3. Hardware in the form of a handheld camera

The goal of these devices is to provide a precise recording of an object in three-dimensional geometry.
As an intraoral scanner, Trios devices are similar to three-dimensional scanners. What they do is focus a light source onto the object that needs to be scanned.

This light source was typically a laser but has now moved on to structured light. The object to be scanned can be the dental arches, which include the prepared teeth. It usually includes the implant scan bodies as well, which are typically the cylinders, which are screwed on the implants. These scan bodies are utilised for transferring the position of the 3D implant.

History of Trios and Intraoral Scanners

The first known intraoral scanner was called the Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics or CEREC. A company called Dentsply Sirona introduced this scanner in 1985. It was an exciting yet controversial time when dentistry was offered a revolutionary means of impression.

The market is growing, and competition has become quite fierce. 3Shape entered the market about 20 years ago, and the goal was to improve 3D scanning. Two graduate students were devoted to 3D technology and went on to create a scanner, which was connected to its own software. The company had its first scanner for the dental industry in 2005, which was known as the d200 and Dental System.

Three years later, a new scanner was out in the market called D700. But it was in 2009 when 3Shape focused on orthodontics. In 2011, it was when the first Trios was born.

Benefits and Limitations

Recent studies have already indicated that Trios Scanning and the use of other IOS devices for digital impression are perceived better than the current technique. They provide faster and more comfortable results. Implant impression with the use of IOS devices with confocal technology was more efficient. There were no lengthy preparations required. Also, the retake time was much shorter.

This technology is preferred over the conventional impression method because it is time-efficient and comfortable. Implant impression, for instance, is typically not as patient-friendly as using a Trios scanner.

Here are more reasons why Oasis Orthodontics uses Trios:

  • As a device that provides optical impressions, Trios helps reduce patient discomfort.
  • Dentists and orthodontists find clinical procedures involving Trios much more simplified. One reason is that it eliminates the need for plaster models.
  • Optical impressions also allow better communication between the patients and the dentists or dental technicians.
  • Orthodontists have to work fast because many patients are waiting. But rushing a service is not ideal at any given time. With Trios, Oasis Orthodontics can see more patients because the scanner works much quicker. Comparing the digital workflow when creating aesthetic restorations, analogue workflows take at least twice as long. There is no need to use impression materials, and therefore orthodontists don’t have to wait for the PVS to dry. Patients do not need to be gagged, and there is absolutely no mess.
  • Analogue impressions can have errors. Digital impression provides high accuracy and precision. In many procedures, delays are often due to manual errors in the impression. Oasis Orthodontics has eliminated most remakes with the help of the device.
  • Originally, the primary goal of intraoral scanning was to provide a digital impression. Then, the data will be utilised for creating restoration. However, things have changed. Some Trios models offer a hardware setup that enables the user to adjust the monitor of the scanner to any desired position. It means more work can be done with the scan, such as allowing the patient to see the digital impression while sitting on the chair. Patient acceptance has improved as a result.
  • The device helps save costs, too. There is no need to use PVS impression materials or plaster for models. Additionally, shipping and storage will also be significantly reduced, which allows for more savings. Orthodontists can digitise all models and store them on a hard disc or in the cloud.
  • Another benefit includes gag reflex management, which is part of enhancing the comfort of the patient.
  • Other advantages are improved patient communication, immediate preparation, streamlined workflow, and simplified use for implants, bridgework, and the like.

There is a learning curve, indeed. If the clinician does not have enough experience or passion for innovations, it could take a while to learn how to handle the device. Also, these scanners are not exactly the most affordable scanners you can find. Purchasing is just part of the issue because the devices also require regular maintenance.

Nevertheless, when it comes to accuracy, patient comfort, and cost-efficiency, Trios is the best option.

Qualifications Required for Using the Trios Scanner

Preparation is quicker with Trios. Even second-year dental students could handle the process. Trios is easier to use when compared to other scanners that are based on the same technology. For this reason, practitioners go for it.

At first, the learning curve can be quite steep. Operators have to familiarise themselves with the software and the device’s ergonomics. But even those who are new to the software and the whole hardware see that scanning is much easier. In fact, some orthodontists claim that if you can use a smartphone, you can use a Trios Scanner.

With appropriate knowledge and training, clinicians can provide a full-mouth scan within three to five minutes.

How to Use the Trios Scanner

Here is an overview of how the procedure works:

  1. The clinician will first capture an image of the teeth preparation.
  2. The intraoral scanner will be inserted in the patient’s mouth to capture the impression. The device will then be moved over the surface area of the teeth.
  3. Every capture will be displayed on the monitor, which can be placed by the side of the patient. This way, both the orthodontist and patient will see the images at the same time.
  4. This process can take about a minute and a half. But the impression of the teeth located in the opposite arch will often be much faster. It usually takes about 45 seconds.
  5. The clinician will review the image in real-time. Adjustments can be made, such as to enlarge the image to get a more enhanced detail.

An Oasis staff member scanning a patients teeth to work out the best method for straightening.

What Trios Scanners Can Be Used For

The current models have become sufficiently accurate, particularly for capturing impressions used to fabricate a whole prosthetic restoration. For instance, it can include copings, frameworks, inlays or onlays, fixed partial dentures, and single crowns. These restorations can be performed on both natural and implanted teeth.

After a full-mouth scan using the intraoral device, the clinician can take advantage of 3D images to detect and diagnose certain dental diseases. Because Trios can give high-resolution images, patients can see which oral health problems are present. The information can also be passed to the team or specialists, which also help in creating a thorough patient record.

The scan will allow the patient to understand the current situation of their oral health. Because patients can also see the images, they will immediately know if they have fractured teeth, calculus, gingival inflammation, or deteriorating restorations.

Trios can be integrated into other branches of dentistry, including implants for guided surgery. Trios can be utilised for diagnosing and fabricating restorations in surgery, orthodontics, and prostheses. For instance, the scanner helps determine the 3D position of dental implants. For patients that require restorations using implants, the scanner can be efficient as well. Aside from implants, bars, and bridges can be fabricated using digital impressions from the scanner.

When it comes to orthodontics, Trios Scanners are helpful when the orthodontist works on a patient that requires aligners and other custom-made devices. By using this technology, our orthodontists can diagnose and provide a treatment plan quickly. Digital impressions can be utilised as a guide or a starting point in creating customised orthodontic devices and services.

Trios is used in:

  • Restorative and orthodontic laboratories
  • Milling machines
  • 3D printing
  • Providing clear aligners
  • Creating customised sleep appliances
  • Designing brackets

Orthodontists can monitor the patient in case of orthodontic relapse. Some cases, such as malocclusion, abfraction, and attrition, are easily detected using the scanner. It can also provide images that are relevant to the overall dental health of the patient. For instance, periodontal conditions can be assessed right away, especially those that are related to occlusal trauma due to heavy occlusal wear.

Years from now, it is probable that many, if not all, orthodontic appliances will be designed with the help of an intraoral scan. This way, it will become a more straightforward process, especially in meeting the clinical needs of the patient.

The reception staff at Oasis Orthodontics working hard to organise patients and procedures.