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Base metals are more challenging for lab technicians and dentists to work with as they have a very high melting temperature, making soldering and casting difficult. They also exhibit shrinkage during casting which must be compensated for. An advantage of base metals is that they are much harder and stronger than noble metals, and exhibit twice the elasticity. Therefore alloys can be made into thinner crowns whilst still retaining the rigidity required for dental applications. However their hardness also makes them difficult to burnish and polish.
Next to all-ceramic crowns, PFM crowns most closely resemble natural teeth. However there is still quite a difference in similarity, because in comparison to a full-ceramic crown, PFM crowns are almost non-transparent. The way all-ceramic crowns look so lifelike is by imitating the way light passes through and is reflected off a natural tooth, through the use of very translucent porcelain.Because the metal core of a PFM crown is so dark, it needs to be covered in very opaque porcelain as a mask so that none of the metal colour shows through. As a result, only a comparatively thin layer of translucent porcelain can be fit on the top, which reduces the ability to truly mimic the lustrous look of a natural tooth. 2b1af7f3a8