Dr. David Summerford, DMD of North Alabama Periodontics in Huntsville, ALOften the upper and/or lower jaws have shrunken in size due to the loss of the natural teeth prematurely (i.e. disuse atrophy). Due to the diminished jaw height, the individual may not be able to successfully wear a removable prosthesis such as a complete denture.
Not only are the soft tissues repositioned but the tissue is taken from the patient's palate to ensure maintenance of the exposed jaw and to provide a more durable covering for the denture to rest upon.
In some cases, dental implants are ultimately needed for adequate function.