People! What do I have to do to get you to pay attention to the most important issue facing optometry today? For nearly 20 years I have written article after article about this subject. No one else in optometry is even talking about it. The AOA ignores this issue. The government considers it just another tar ball on the beach. If anything will lead to total doom for optometry it is this:


It all started when we decided, as ignorant young parents, that every kid had an inalienable right to have braces. This just never occurred when I was a kid. My dentist told my mom, “Monty’s mouth is too small.” She laughed in his face and asked, “Have you met him?”

But these days, parents will pay any amount of money to get braces, needed or not, on little Johnny’s teeth. The same parents who think a hundred bucks is too much for glasses will become porn stars to pay for braces.

I saw it coming. About 15 years ago, this neighborhood kid “made friends” with my son. Sure, like it wasn’t part of what I like to call the “Evil Dental Plan.” It turns out this kid, Matt, became “best friends” with my son, Aaron, and, just by happenstance, it turns out that Matt’s father is (you guessed it) a dentist. I am so sure that was merely a coincidence.

So, my son goes to college, studies accounting and becomes (you guessed it) a freakin’ dentist! Oh, and—surprise, surprise—Matt is also a dentist/orthodontist.

My son liked dental school so much that my one optometrically pure daughter, Amber, decided to volunteer at a (you guessed it) local dental clinic, and then she goes to (you guessed it) dental school!

The Evil Dental Plan never rests! Then, Amber meets this guy in her (ugh!) dental class, and (you guessed it) gets engaged. Another dentist in the family. Awesome. This is all part of the plan … 

This past weekend, my wife and I traveled to The Ohio State University for my daughter’s graduation from (you guessed it) dental school. Oh, we acted all happy and proud, but deep inside we wept for optometry’s loss and impending demise once all the optometrists’ children are stolen into dental bondage.

My daughter and her fiancé/dental cohort sat there grinning with those perfect white teeth—they ALL have those, you know. She gets her degree and she is now the newest, latest and greatest DR. VICKERS. Her fiancé is the newest, latest and greatest DR. GUIRGUIS. Both dentists. They share small talk with my son, DR. VICKERS, the dentist and soon-to-be DR. VICKERS, M.D., D.D.S., or as I call him, DR. DR. VICKERS.

And, thankfully, they served cake afterwards. After my third piece, which is part of my plan to die of a heart attack before there are any more DR. VICKERSES, D.D.S., this fine young man walks up to me and says, “Congratulations!” Because he was wearing a dental graduation robe, I immediately and brilliantly deduced that he, himself, must be a new D.D.S. also: DR. JASON WARN, D.D.S.

I tried not to scream.

His father appeared. He looked familiar. He went to optometry school with me, a couple years behind me. This was the famous DR. STANLEY WARN, a member of the Board of Optometry in Ohio. Turns out that Dr. Warn, O.D., also has a brave daughter, DR. ANITA WARN, O.D.(!!!!!!), who has begun the new resistance. Take that, dentists!

These teeth zombies cannot and will not have all our children! Not every single one! Good job, Stan and Anita! Now, if we can only find a way to make seeing as important as grinning.

Oh, and my wife just chipped a tooth. Figures.