If you've recently decided that you'll visit a cosmetic dentist, its highly likely that you're looking to improve the look of your smile. If you're someone who perhaps tends to smile with his or her lips closed, the right cosmetic dentist — and a few procedures — can have you ready to show off your grin. There are many cosmetic dentistry procedures that may be beneficial to you, including those such as dental implants and dental crowns. One procedure that is on the simpler side is dental contouring. This procedure can dramatically alter the quality of your smile and can be a good introduction to cosmetic dentistry if you haven't had other procedures. Here are some ways that your dentist may use contouring.

Rounding Out Uneven Edges

Over time, the edges of some of your teeth can get uneven. This can happen from accidentally biting down onto something hard — for example, biting into a cherry pit while eating a bowl of cherries. While other cosmetic dentistry procedures may be necessary in the event of serious damage to the tooth, contouring might be appropriate for minor issues. If the edge is slightly uneven and has a tiny chip, your cosmetic dentist can round out the edge to give it a smoother appearance.

Changing a Tooth's Shape

You'll occasionally have a tooth that has a shape that distinguishes it from the other teeth in your mouth. For some people, this can be a tooth that is pointed. During your cosmetic dentistry consultation, your dentist will talk to you about the value of dental contouring for the tooth in question. The dentist can remove the point and then round out the edge of the tooth to make its appearance more consistent with the other teeth in your mouth.

Promoting Evenness Across Your Teeth

When you think of a perfect set of teeth, you likely imagine upper and lower teeth that have their edges all in a straight line, rather than some teeth extending farther away from the gums than others. If your smile has a bit of this haphazard look, dental contouring may be suitable for you. Your dentist can shorten your longer teeth, while also relying on the cosmetic dentistry procedure of bonding to add length to shorter teeth. The result can be evenness across your upper and lower teeth, giving you a toothpaste-commercial-worthy smile that you can't wait for others to see.