About Us - Information about  Animated-Teeth.com  and  WMDS, Inc.

If you're curious about Animated-Teeth.com, this page probably has the information you're looking for. It covers: Our mission statement, our history, who owns Animated-Teeth.com and who writes the content found on it.

Our Mission - Explaining dentistry for dental patients.

It's just that simple. Educating people about dentistry is all that we do. In fact, that's how Animated-Teeth.com began.

Our back story.

The initial years.

Animated-Teeth.com was started by Dr. Paul Cotner in 2000 as a hobby site.

Having some free time, an interest in how the web worked, along with a fascination with the do-it-yourself, hand-coded nature of creating web pages back then, over the summer of 2000 Dr. Cotner created a series of pages covering some core dental topics. They simply explained aspects of dentistry in the same way that he was doing for patients in his practice.

Animated-Teeth.com first went online in September 2000.

Summer 2003

Animated-Teeth.com would have remained a hobby site if it wasn't for a product that Google introduced in June of 2003 called Adsense. Yes, this is the advertising that some people hate and block. But for small websites that had little hope of otherwise being able to monetize their pages, and therefore having little chance of further development and growth, this was a game changer.

Just imagine what having a reputable 3rd party service who arranges for and delivers ads to your pages means for a small publisher:

  • Expenses for overhead, like website hosting, software maintenance and development, can be covered. Instead of being a financial burden, the growth of the website becomes a positive event.
  • Salaries can be paid, which in our case led to an explosion in the quantity of content that we could produce.
  • It provides an income source not tethered to specific sponsors or products. A website can practice complete editorial freedom, yet survive.
Moving forward.

Taking advantage of that new found freedom shaped the nature of Animated-Teeth.com.

While always striving to remain mainstream (we'd like to think that we present all topics in a similar light as currently taught in dental schools), we feel free to write about any subject that we think might benefit website visitors, no matter how obscure the topic.

And while doing so has led to the creation of a substantial number of web pages that likely won't cover the cost of their creation for many many years to come, it's also resulted in several big hits for us that have evidently filled a needed void on the web. And that's very satisfying.

What lies in the future for Animated-Teeth.com?

We're pretty much old school here and have no plans of drastically changing our basic format. We get that almost nobody using the internet actually reads the content of web pages, but we just don't care. We're not out to conquer the world, just to help educate some portion of it.

We think that as compared to a video, a simple picture or animated graphic can get a point across at a glance. And we think that seeing the one phrase you need to know about in text is quicker and more definitive than repeatedly looping through a video trying to catch what was said.

We also feel an obligation to those in third world countries who view our pages. While here in the USA 4G may be the mobile standard, in other places it's still a 3G world. And we consider serving primarily just text files and graphics configured as light as we can make them to these users to be a part of our mission.

So what's in the future for Animated-Teeth.com? We'll simply continue to update, revise and add to our content, and respond to questions and comments to the best of our ability.

Where does the name Animated-Teeth.com come from?

The "animated" portion of our name was chosen for two reasons, one being descriptive, the other an aid in competing. If you're interested, here's the story. (We love looking back at the history of the web.)

  • The descriptive part - Gifs are for kids.

    Back in the earlier days of the web, bandwidth (internet speed) was an issue for everyone. And as a substitute for movies, or even a series of still images, a more compact file type that allowed the display of movement (animation) was developed and given the file extension ".gif".

    (Pronounced "jiff," just like the peanut butter, hence the phonetic catchphrase similar to what was used in their commercial, ".gifs are for kids.")

  • The necessity part - The Yahoo Index.

    When Animated-Teeth.com first went online in September of 2000, Google.com was just turning two. And prior to the domination of web discovery by search engines, the Yahoo and DMOZ Indexes (alphabetical listings of websites by category) were a big thing.

Putting the two together.

Probably by now you can see why our name was chosen.

  • A fair number of the illustrations on our website are animated .gifs.
  • Since the word "animated" starts with an "a," when our website is listed in alphabetical listings of dental websites it's right up front. And for a new website back in 2000, in an era when web indexes were still a big thing, that was a pretty significant factor in our growth.

Who owns Animated-Teeth.com?

The website Animated-Teeth.com is owned by WMDS, Inc., a Missouri corporation. Dr. Paul Cotner serves as president.

Postal address and telephone:
WMDS, Inc.
5126 Starboard Side Drive
Saint Louis, MO 63128
(314) 768-0156

FYI - The phone number shown is our business one and it is used for Corporate business matters only. (Primarily just with those with whom we already have an established business relationship.)

The business model of WMDS, Inc. is that of running a website and that alone. We don't do consultations, give advice, make recommendations, make treatment referrals, provide expert witness services and we won't consider offers from advertising agencies or networks that are initiated via telephone. There is zero chance that any of these types of inquiries or solicitations will receive a return call from us.

How can parties get in touch with WMDS, Inc. / Animated-Teeth.com?

There are a couple of ways. They include email, our site-wide feedback feature or posting comments on our pages that accept them. These contact methods are outlined here.

What does "WMDS" stand for?

If there is such a thing, WMDS, Inc. was initially set up by Dr. Cotner as a "hobby" corporation involving other projects, for which the letters did hold some meaning.

Later on, as Animated-Teeth.com was being developed through the Corporation and ultimately became its primary focus, as a matter of convenience the use of the lettered name was just kept in place even though nothing about it still applies.

Who is the author of the content on Animated-Teeth.com?

In strict legal terms, the author of the content found on Animated-Teeth.com, and the holder of its applicable copyrights, is WMDS, Inc. That's because it was created by employees of the Corporation as "works for hire" (a legal term defined by the US Copyright Office).

So if you're looking for how to make a citation for content you've found on Animated-Teeth.com, you should use our corporate name as the author. (Here's instructions for how to format citations.)

Who actually writes the content for Animated-Teeth.com's pages?

Pretty much everything found on Animated-Teeth.com, at least in regard to dental content, has been written by Dr. Cotner (in the role of an employee of the Corporation). He also serves as the Editor of Animated-Teeth.com.

Throughout our website (on pages, in replies to comments), the generic attribution "Animated-Teeth Dental Staff" or "Staff Dentist" is used to indicate his role in the content's creation.

Name: Dr. Paul Cotner

Screen name on Animated-Teeth.com: Staff Dentist - Animated-Teeth.com

Dental education: Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) - Boston University, Boston, MA (USA). Graduated 1982.

Clinical Practice: Dr. Cotner practiced general dentistry in private practice in Rhode Island and Missouri (USA) over the course of his career. He no longer actively practices but continues to maintain an active dental license in the state of Missouri.

Now as a "dry hands" dentist, for Dr. Cotner dentistry revolves around reading dental publications and research, staying updated by watching videos of dental procedures, conferring with colleagues and always being amazed at how much more there is to know.

Primary role for Animated-Teeth.com:

Dental content creation.

Additional roles for Animated-Teeth.com:

Beyond creating text content for Animated-Teeth.com, Dr. Cotner also creates most of its illustrations and animations, and all of its smile makeovers. (All also technically categorized as "works for hire" for the Corporation.) He also serves as the website's editor, and as such chooses the nature of the subject matter that it covers.

Additional duties for WMDS. Inc.:

Dr. Cotner serves as President of WMDS, Inc., the owner of Animated-Teeth.com. He both founded the Corporation, and guided the development of the website from its inception in 2000. (The history of Animated-Teeth.com and WMDS, Inc.)


Any of the contact methods (feedback, comments, email) set up for interacting with Animated-Teeth.com can be directed to Dr. Cotner by adding the word "attention" before his name.

  • All will remain private and not published on our site.
  • Dr. Cotner performs his services as an employee of WMDS, Inc. Per our corporate policy, employees are instructed not to reply to requests for personal consultations, advice, recommendations, treatment referrals, expert witness services, etc...
  • In cases where a reply is considered appropriate, a return email address would need to be included. However, doing so does not guarantee a response. Replies are seldom emailed back in a time frame of less than one week.

Why are screen names used for attributions on pages rather than just the writer's actual name?

While right now the creation of content on Animated-Teeth.com is just a one-person shop, in the past we've utilized additional content writers. (Over the years we've declined offers from many more.)

Our experience.

It seems to us that the primary motivation of individuals wanting to work with our website is that of self promotion. The usual goal seems to be that of increasing the visibility of their name on the web, and gaining links from our site to their personal ones.

And while we get that that's a pretty common m.o. for the web, here at Animated-Teeth.com we consider the focus of our website more about the topic of dentistry, and less so individuals.

The dilemma.

When relationships change, there's always the question of what ethically should be done with the contributor's content (as opposed to what legally the Corporation has a right to do with it). Historically, we've just pulled it from our website and replaced it with new.

Because of this policy, we haven't really experienced an economy of scale in regard to content creation when bringing on additional contributors, which would be the reason to do so in the first place.

In the future, if we decide to engage with additional contributors, we'll stick with assigning them their own screen name and then identifying them personally on this page. Doing so will provide the needed attribution for their work, yet allow the focus of our website to remain on just dentistry and not personalities.

How to make a citation for information found on Animated-Teeth.com.

The content found on the pages of Animated-Teeth.com (both textual and visual) have been created by employees of WMDS, Inc. (the owner of the website) and therefore are considered to be "works made for hire."

The statue governing this aspect of copyright law dictates that in the case of works made for hire, it's the employer for whom the work has been prepared (WMDS, Inc. in this case) who is considered to be the author.

When citing a reference to content found on Animated-Teeth.com we would suggest the following form:

Basic Form
WMDS, Inc. (Date). Page name. Retrieved [date] from [URL]

The above date can be difficult to find for pages of some topics. On some pages, the last-revision date is found following the page's content (last paragraph). If no date is give, the page's reference-sources link/page (found at the end of the page's content) will show the last date the page's topic was revised or updated.

WMDS, Inc. (2018, July). What is tooth decay? Retrieved July 10, 2018 from