What are Dental Metals

Metals commonly used in restorations can be broken into 3 classes; High Noble, Noble, and Base. This is true for metal copings, PFMs, and full metal crowns. These categories are comprised of a mix of gold, platinum, palladium, silver, copper, indium, iridium, zinc, rhenium, cobalt, chromium, beryllium, molybdenum, tungsten, silicon, manganese, iron, carbon, tin, gallium, ruthenium, niobium, and tantalum


High Noble

High Noble alloys are the strongest precious metal restorations, though also tend to be more expensive due to the high value of precious metal in them. These typically consist of over 60% high noble metal like gold, palladium, or platinum of which at least 40% is gold. High Noble alloys can also have between 10% and 25% silver, and may also contain trace amounts of rhenium, indium, tin, and zinc at less than 5%.


Noble alloys use less precious metal to keep cost down. The mix of precious to non-precious metal is still kept at a ratio for maximum strength. They usually contain at least 20% noble metal, with additional silver and palladium, then trace amounts of zinc, iridium, gallium, cobalt, tin, and ruthenium at less than 10%


Base PFMs use very little precious metal, so to keep up the strength they use stronger non-precious metals. This results in the strongest restoration among PFMs, unfortunately, some patients experience localized allergic reactions which makes this restoration unsuitable for them. Base metal or non-precious allows typically contain 0% to 25% precious or noble metal, which is replaced with high values of nickel, cobalt, chromium or beryllium. They also use molybdenum, tungsten, silicon, manganese, iron, carbon, niobium, and tantalum.