We want to stay away from any direct association with the St. Louis Cardinals' design, but there should be some red in the design since cardinals are red. I've been giving the thumbs down on "tooth shapes," but poll results suggest people DO want a dental symbol in there. In the example logos above, I like the symmetry and the overall simplicity of the image. The various font styles, for example, bring a unique feel to each design. I think what I'm still looking for are variations on the font and variations on the cardinal. Abstract, cartoon, classic, whatever.
I read the article about color schemes that predominate healthcare design, and learned that it's predominantly blue on purpose. We don't need to follow that directly, but I'd like to dial back the amount of red that dominates the color scheme of this logo. The cardinal is an attractive image in itself, and so, while I like the red, after reading the article I'm mindful of HOW MUCH red dominates the design (i.e., how big that cardinal is.) So one way to approach it, is: how many ways can a little red cardinal dress up a unique font? That's really where we're at now, after 2 days of excellent submissions.