The name refers to its makeup. The inner side, in contact with the surface of the teeth, is made of metal which is covered with ceramics to create an aesthetic appearance.
Since the inner metal framework is in contact with the surface of the tooth, its quality determines the precision of the fitting, i.e. the durability of the prepared tooth. Based on the metal framework, we differentiate between the non-precious metal–ceramic and the platinum–gold –ceramic versions. While the first one is fairly cheap, the latter is much more durable. There is not much difference between their aesthetic appearances because they are made with the same technique. Although here in Hungary mostly the non-precious metal version is applied for a crown and a bridge, internationally speaking none of the metal–ceramic tooth replacements are considered to be modern services anymore. The main reason for this is that quite a lot of space must be left there for the ceramic surface to provide the client with the proper cosmetic appearance and for the inner metal framework to provide enough stability. This can only be done if quite a lot of tooth substance is removed by polishing it off. What’s more, after this non-economic method, the ceramic layer is still too thin in comparison with the complete thickness of the wall of the crown than in the case of modern medical attendances, so its aesthetic appearance is also far behind these ones. We also have to mention the fitting imprecision of the non-precious metal–ceramic type which derives from material scientific reasons, and it influences its durability in a negative way.
Advantage: the favourable price of the non-precious metal–ceramic version.
Disadvantage: a lot of tooth substance is used up when polishing it off, the aesthetic appearance is far behind modern solutions, the non-precious metal–ceramic type is less durable.