A: If Dr. Strickland has recommended a dental crown to you, it is likely either to correct a broken tooth or to repair a tooth that has deteriorated due to decay. The decay in your tooth eats away healthy tooth structure much like rust eats away at metal. If not removed, decay will deteriorate the tooth to the point where extraction is the only viable treatment option. Sometimes after decay is removed, there is healthy tooth structure left, but not much of it. A crown can then be placed, restoring the look and function of your tooth while allowing you to keep your natural, underlying tooth structure. Most dental crowns are precision-milled porcelain or gold and are individually customized for each application in each patient, giving you a natural, long lasting smile.