Son Joins Father’s Dental Practice in Pacific Palisades

By Lila Seidman
Special to the Palisades News

Longtime Palisades dentistry fixture Scott Warner has a new associate in his 984 Monument Street office—his son.

Dylan Warner, 26, graduated from USC’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry in May, following in his father’s—and his grandfather’s—footsteps to become a third-generation dentist.

“It’s in his blood,” joked Scott, who moved from his father’s practice in Tarzana to Pacific Palisades to take over Celon Peterson’s practice in 1989. (Peterson’s daughter, Carol Ross, still works in the office as a hygienist.)

Dylan Warner (right) joined his father Scott’s practice on Monument in May. Photo: Matt Stockman

Dylan Warner (right) joined his father Scott’s practice on Monument in May. Photo: Matt Stockman

Although Dylan often worked in his father’s office during summer breaks when he was growing up in the Palisades—at the front desk, in the lab, by his father’s side—his passion for dentistry bloomed later.

As a freshman at UC Santa Barbara, where his father and mother both attended and met, Dylan declared himself an economics major. After his first year, his dad, who had recently parted ways with an associate, asked him if he might be interested in taking up the mantle. Dylan decided to switch tracks.

Though it was too late to formally switch his major, he took all the necessary prerequisite science classes, making him “probably one of the few dentists that’s an economics major,” Scott said.

For Scott, it was an unexpected but welcome turn of events. He said he always thought he’d end up selling his practice to a more-or-less stranger, blindly turning over his patients, many of whom he’s seen for more than 30 years. He found the idea “a little stressful.”

“I feel so good that I have someone I know and trust to take care of them,” Scott said of his patients. “You don’t really think about it until you get to that point where you have to have somebody.”

At Dylan’s graduation, his grandfather, who taught at USC’s dental school for decades and now has Alzheimer’s disease, came onto the stage to drape the academic hood on his grandson. Everyone stood for an ovation. There were more than a few misty eyes in the audience.

“It was a really touching moment,” Scott said. “I hope he’ll remember part of it.”

Bringing Dylan on part-time has allowed Scott to ramp down to working three days a week, a welcome respite after decades on the job. Dylan’s presence has also allowed the practice to expand its hours to include Thursday evenings and Saturdays. Both Warners practice general dentistry, including some cosmetic work.

So far, the father-son partnership has been positive and symbiotic.

“He’ll show me how he does stuff, and then I can say that ‘Oh, at school they taught us to do it like this’,” Dylan explained. “It’s cool to see how other people do dentistry.”

“It’s a nice trade-off,” Scott added. “We help each other.”

A graduate of Palisades Elementary, Paul Revere and Palisades High School, Dylan said that practicing dentistry in his lifelong stomping grounds means treating familiar faces.

On his first day in the office, Dylan’s patient was a friend he’d known since he was five years old.

“I’ve talked to him so many times, but I never looked at his teeth like that!” Dylan said.

The office has another new recruit: Dylan’s girlfriend of four years, Arielle Jones, assists him on Saturdays. They met on the first day of dental school almost four years ago.

“My hope is eventually Arielle and Dylan take over the practice, and then their kid will be a fourth-generation dentist,” Scott half-joked.

Scott intends to retire in ten years or so.

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