The jewish dentist put a crown on a tooth about 4 months ago and told my friend the patient that usually crowns should last for at least 10 years. The crown fell out and was lost after just 4 months.

Is the dentist required to replace the crown or at least offer a discount for a new one? And does the concept of minhag hasochrim which would maybe imply a warranty apply to the dentist? Also is there an aspect of mekach ta’us over here?

Thank you for your response.

Answer:

This will not be a case of mekach ta’us. When a person pays for a crown he doesn’t pay for putting the crown on, but for molding and fitting the crown – as well as for the work of putting it on the tooth.

Although the dentist will be obligated to put the crown back on after it fell off – presumably it wasn’t glued on strongly enough, or perhaps it fell off for some other unexpected reason – the question doesn’t specify how the crown got lost, and I assume that the crown’s getting lost wasn’t the (direct) fault of the dentist.

Therefore, it doesn’t appear that the dentist will have to supply a new crown. He will have to give the treatment of putting on a crown for free, but not of molding a new one.

Minhag HaSochrim will apply and is binding – but you will have to check what there is concerning this matter.

I would recommend explaining what happened to the dentist and asking him to please help out in the matter. I assume that he can make a new crown for a discounted price, and this is probably the best course of action.

Best wishes and good luck.

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