Traditional oral appliance therapy, or OAT, can be worn without a PAP machine, for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. Traditional Oral Appliances function to move the lower jaw and tongue forward to keep the airway open. Consequently, traditional oral appliances must be made to withstand a great deal of stress.Even with PAP use, the jaw can fall back and pinch off the airway, resulting in apnea events. Also, a common pitfall of PAP machines is air blowing out of the mouth. The Harmony appliance addresses both of these issues. Unlike traditional oral appliances, the Harmony prevents the bottom jaw from falling back versus moving it forward. For this reason, it does not need to be made with the same expensive parts and technologies. It is also much less obtrusive than traditional oral appliance therapy. For this reason, it keeps the mouth closed and replaces the archaic chin strap. The Harmony can also encourage breathing through the nose, which is more efficient than breathing through the mouth.
Traditional OAT costs around $3000. The Harmony is $429. Many patients prefer their PAP machines and the Harmony to their traditional oral appliances.