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

If you're curious about specific details regarding 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 consumers.

Our goal is just that simple. The purpose of our pages is to inform people about aspects of dentistry, in a fashion that's similar to what their dentist does or should be doing.

Our back story.

The early years.

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

Having some free time, an interest in the web and a fascination with the DIY hand-coded way that web pages were created back then, during the summer of 2000 Dr. Cotner composed a series of pages that covered a few core dental topics. They simply explained aspects of dentistry in the same way he was doing for patients in his practice.

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

Initial growth.

Animated-Teeth.com would have remained just a hobby site if it wasn't for the introduction of Google's Adsense product in 2003.

Yes, this is the advertising that some people hate and block. And is that poorly regulated advertising program that ruined much of the web. But for small websites that otherwise had little hope of monetizing their pages, its introduction was a game-changer.

This type of product, available to websites no matter how small, helps to insulate publishers from the pressures characteristically associated with maintaining sponsorships or participating in affiliate marketing programs. It provides an avenue by which a website can practice unfettered editorial freedom yet grow and survive.

Moving forward.

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 number of web pages that likely won't cover the cost of their creation for years to come, if ever, it's also resulted in a few big hits for us that have evidently filled a void on the web. And that's very satisfying.

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

We have no plans of drastically changing our format. We get that almost nobody using the internet takes the time to actually read the text on web pages but we just don't care. We're not out to conquer the world, just to help educate some portion of it.

Our thought is that compared to a video, a simple picture or animated graphic can get a point across at a glance. And we think that finding the one phrase you need to know about in a page's text provides a quicker and more definitive answer 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 moving on into 5G may be the mobile standard, in other places it's still a 3G world. And we consider serving text files and graphics configured to be as light-weight as possible 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 word "animated" was chosen for two reasons, one being descriptive and the other an aid in competing with other websites. If you're interested, here's the backstory.

  • 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 showing a group of individual images, a more compact file type (.gif) was developed. As a bonus, this type of image file could also be used to display movement (animation).

    (The file extension ".gif" is pronounced "jiff," just like the peanut butter. Hence the phonetic catchphrase similar to what was used in their commercial, ".gifs are for kids.")

  • 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 the "animated" portion of Animated-Teeth.com was chosen.

  • A fair number of the illustrations on our website are animated .gifs.
  • And 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?

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 became the primary focus of the Corporation, as a matter of convenience the use of the lettered name was kept even though nothing about it still holds any significance.

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 our website, you should use our corporate name as the author. (Here are instructions for how to format citations.)

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

Pretty much everything currently found on Animated-Teeth.com, at least in regard to dental content, has been written by Dr. Cotner, the founder of the website, 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, etc...), the screen name "Staff Dentist" is used to signify his role in the content's creation.

Here's the profile page for: Dr. Cotner | Staff Dentist Animated-Teeth.com

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

While right now the creation of content on Animated-Teeth.com is primarily 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's a pretty common (yet dubious in our opinion) modus operandi 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 removed it from our website and replaced it with a new page.

Due to 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 their own profile page. Doing so will allow for the attribution of their work, which is important, 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 statute 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 given, 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