iDD Unboxing iTero Element 5D Plus

by  Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny

December 22, 2021

Want more info about the iTero Element 5D Plus? Click Here to read our Comprehensive Review about the scanner! 


Hey, everyone it's Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny from the Institute of Digital Dentistry and I'm back again with another unboxing. This time, the iTero Element 5D plus.

Now, many of you would have at least seen or heard about the iTero scanners as this company has been around for a long time. Their first scanner was actually released in 2006 and this is the sixth generation iTero scanner. 

So this company is not new to the game unlike many other companies that are entering the market. This particular scanner was released in February, 2021 making it one of the newest scanners on the market.

The release of the iTero Element 5D plus actually surprised me because iTero had just recently released the Element 5D at the International Dental Show in 2019, I personally reviewed the iTero Element 5D back in 2019 and although I found it was quite a cool scanner with some high tech built into it, the computer hardware itself resulted in a poor user experience that was quite slow and frustrating.


The team at iTero have obviously taken this feedback on board because this resulted in the iTero Element 5D plus being released. And why I say that is the 5D plus is technically not a new scanner as it's exactly the same as the Element 5D what has changed is that the computer hardware inside the scanner is significantly improved, and this has resulted in a much better user experience.

The Element 5D plus comes in two configurations, a cart, which is similar to the previous generation Element 5D except it has a new paint job, making it look a lot more modern and the mobile unit which I have behind me and will unbox today. These iTero scanners are not cheap scanners.

Here in New Zealand the iTero Element 5D plus mobile unit costs $70,000, whereas the cart costs $68,000. However you can buy the light version of the cart or the mobile unit for $12,000 cheaper and the only difference being is that the caries detection function is turned off. 

So the iTero Element 5D plus no longer comes in a USB configuration like the previous generation. The only thing that you can choose is either a cart or the tablet mobile unit. If you want an iTero scanner that you can easily move between practices, the mobile unit, which is a tablet like scanner is going to be your choice. 

So without relying on laptops, iTero have specifically chosen hardware to optimize scanner performance and avoid the problems they had with the last generation iTero scanners.

The other thing to realize is that for anyone out there who does a lot of Invisalign treatment, the iTero scanners will be your first choice. This is because the company's clamping down and doesn't accept scans from any of the other latest generation scanners. So enough talking let's crack, open the box and see what you get with the iTero Element 5D plus mobile unit.


Okay, so when we open the box, we see a few things. Firstly, an iTero branded suitcase, and this contains the iTero Element 5D plus mobile unit. The second thing we find is actually quite interesting, a web camera and the company includes this with the scanner. What this is used for is training with the iTero team and also any support or troubleshooting you may require.

The last thing in the box is the iTero Element's scanning sleeves. Now this is quite an interesting feature of the iTero scanners and that they use single use non-autoclavable scanning sleeves. That must be discarded after each patient. This box that's included with the iTero Element 5D plus contains 25 scanning sleeves and in New Zealand, it costs around $100.


This means that each scanning sleeve costs approximately $4, or in other words, it costs $4 per scan. So this is what the scanning sleeves look like, they come in a lot of plastic pouches and they're just a plastic, simple, pryable, scanning sleeve, which are placed onto the iTero scanner, removed and discarded.

So these scanning sleeves actually create a lot of plastic waste. Again, you have to throw them out after each patient and in today's climate, it's quite a questionable decision to stay with these single use sleeves. Were all other companies now are moving to autoclavable versions of this scanning.

So let's put this to the side and now it's time to open the iTero suitcase, which contains the scanner, you're going to get this out of the box. How could I forget of course, another scanner manual again, I'm not sure who reads these but it's here in the box, i'll move to the side and here we have the suitcase, once again covered in a lot of plastics, so let me get this off.

So this is the suitcase that contains the iTero element 5D mobile unit. And it's quite a handy addition because it makes it convenient to move the scanner around. If we are to open this.


What we find is the mobile version of the iTero. And again, this is a tablet scanner. You can't use the latest generation iTero scanners with a laptop. If you want something mobile, this is the scanner to get. What it has is that as a handle here to move the scanner around, and this also doubles as the stand to have the scanner sitting on a disc.

So we have more plastic here, a screen protector. Let's take this off and expose the mobile unit, sorry, planet earth. So that's the mobile unit in all its glory. And the next part of the suitcase, we're going to find the iTero Element 5D plus scanner. So let's open this.


So this is the iTero Element 5D plus. And again, this is the exact same scanner as the previous generation Element 5D. What's changed in the plus variety is really the computer hardware in this tablet and in the cart version. Again, we have a lot of plastic, but if we take all of this off. This is the iTero Element 5D scanner. 

Now, the first thing you're going to notice is that this is a large scanner and it's been a point of contention with the iTero scanners for some time. This blue sleeve is the protective sleeve and it simply slides off. And the single use scanning sleeves slide on and they click on just like that. This scanner has a couple of buttons. 


There is a button here to start and stop scanning, and there's a small touch pad here, which allows you to control some of the functions in the scanner. It is not wireless so with a cord, it connects to the tablet or the cart version and we have a couple of power cables here, a power brick, which is used to plug the mobile unit into a power socket.


So the last couple of things we see is a little mount for the scanner and this clips into the side of the mobile unit and is used to seat the iTero scanner when not in use. Lastly, a protective cover, this comes with the mobile unit and can be used to shield the whole unit and the scanner again, when it's sitting on the side of the bench. Now a couple of interesting things about the scanner.

The first thing is is that this is a medical grade device, and this means that it can be completely wiped down for optimum cross infection control. In comparison to a lot of scanners that are coming on the market, which are USB scanners plugged into any laptop and use them in a clinical setting. This raises an interesting discussion about cross infection or at least how we disinfecting these surfaces.

Secondly, the iTero Element 5D plus comes with a range of different apps included in the software. These are all the usual things you see with scanners such as occlusal analysis, margination but it also has a few added benefits.


The first thing is caries detection. There's a lot of technology built into the scanner and it uses near infrared imaging technology or NIRI as a diagnostic aid for the detection of interproximal caries legions above the gingiva, and this was all without using x-rays. The scanner has quite impressive imaging capabilities with one single scan. 

It will capture digital impressions, intraoral images, and carry out a caries detection scan. The other thing the scanner has is the Invisalign outcomes simulator, which is arguably the best orthodontic simulator on the market and a must have for any Invisalign heavy practice.


The first thing is caries detection. There's a lot of technology built into the scanner and it uses near infrared imaging technology or NIRI as a diagnostic aid for the detection of interproximal caries legions above the gingiva, and this was all without using x-rays. 

The scanner has quite impressive imaging capabilities with one single scan. It will capture digital impressions, intraoral images, and carry out a caries detection scan. The other thing the scanner has is the Invisalign outcomes simulator, which is arguably the best orthodontic simulator on the market and a must have for any Invisalign heavy practice.

Lastly, this scanner integrates seamlessly with exocad. And this is no surprise as line recently purchased exocad for over 400 million us dollars. So this company is serious about in-house CAD/CAM. The scanner also uses the, my iTero cloud. Every single one of your scans is automatically uploaded to this cloud and enables you to access them anywhere.

The interesting thing about the, my iTero cloud is that you can't actually export scans directly from the scanner. You have to go and login to the cloud, and there you can export any of your scans in either STL or PLY. This cloud-based platform also has a number of features that you see in the software. 

So from a web browser, you can view the patient's orthodontic simulation, records, and you can even generate patient reports to send to them.


So, what are some of the downsides of the scanner? Well, firstly, it's quite large. This is the largest and heaviest scanner on the market. And the iTero range of scanners really haven't changed in shape and size for a very long time. 

The other thing as usual is the cost, as I mentioned earlier, these are not cheap scanners ranging between $60,000 to $70,000 New Zealand dollars. On top of that, the scanner has quite a costly, yearly subscription here in New Zealand. We pay close to $7,000 per year for the subscription.

Now, although the subscription is optional, if you opt out of it, some key features of the scanner are removed and it starts to cost you every time you want to export a scan. So that's enough of that, let's see the scanner in action, on top of the mobile unit is the screen power button, let's turn it on and lets start scanning.


So this concludes our unboxing video of the iTero Element 5D plus mobile scanner. Overall, a fast and accurate scanner that has a lot of technology packed into it, but comes at a hefty price tag. For those of you who want more information, check out our comprehensive review about this scanner at

About the author 

Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny

Dr Ahmad is a global leader in digital dentistry and intraoral scanners, carrying out lectures as a KOL for many companies and industry. He is one of the few in the world who owns and has tested all mainstream scanners and CAD/CAM systems in his clinic. Dr Ahmad Al-Hassiny is a full-time private dentist in New Zealand and the Director of The Institute of Digital Dentistry (iDD), a world-leading digital dentistry education provider. iDD offers live courses, masterclasses, and an online training platform, with a mission to ensure dentists globally have easy and affordable access to the best digital dentistry training possible.

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