December 16, 2009 06:00 ET

Erica Bumgarner Wins $30,000 Smile Makeover

1-800-DENTIST® Announces Winner of My Smile Bites Contest

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2009) - The winner of 1-800-DENTIST's exclusive smile makeover contest called "My Smile Bites" was announced today. 34-year-old Erica Bumgarner from Atlanta, Georgia, was selected from five finalists and 490 overall contestants. Erica will receive up to $30,000 worth of free dental care.

Erica's dental problems started when she was a teenager, after receiving braces at the age of 14. By her 20s, Erica was still wearing braces; but her orthodontist passed away and her dental records were handed over to the state. Because of her age, dental plans wouldn't cover orthodontics. Today, as a single mom, Erica can't afford to correct the dental problems associated with wearing braces for 20 years -- missing brackets, missing teeth, tooth discoloration and bite problems.

"This is a life-changing opportunity for Erica, and we're thrilled to help make a difference in her life," said Fred Joyal, CEO of 1-800-DENTIST. "With this smile makeover, Erica will not only get a terrific-looking smile but also a fresh start on her dental health -- and overall health."

To enter the contest, U.S. citizens 18 and over uploaded personal videos describing their dental problems and how those problems affect their lives. The public was invited to vote for their favorite contestant, and hundreds of thousands of votes were cast. Five finalists were selected by 1-800-DENTIST.

"We know that times are tough and it's difficult to fit dental care in the budget, especially if your problems are severe," said 1-800-DENTIST President Larry Twersky. "This was our way of helping someone end the year on a positive note and prepare them for a new life in 2010 and beyond."

Erica's smile transformation will be captured on film and aired on in January 2010.

About 1-800-DENTIST®

Founded in Los Angeles in 1986, 1-800-DENTIST® is the nation's leading free resource for consumers in search of a dentist. Offering both online and on-the-phone services 24 hours a day, 1-800-DENTIST® has matched over 6 million Americans with independent dentists. For more information, visit

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