Research | UHCO Technical Services

Bite Buddy

In response to user requests for a more precise head locating system, the UHCOTech HeadSpot has been enhanced by adding the BiteBuddy.

This is a dental impression member which is adjustably mounted in place of the usual chincup on the HeadSpot. The result is more precise positioning for experiments such as Maxwellian view stimuli. The mechanism allows some anterior-posterior flexibility and adjustment of pitch angle. There is no adjustability of roll or yaw. The impression member is preloaded with low-temperature dental impression wax, and requires only to be heated in faucet-hot water (130° F) before impression.

The accessory consists of three basic members: the base block, which mounts to the lower crossmember of the HeadSpot in place of the chincup; a riser block, which can be angled forward or backward as much as necessary; and the impression tray, with compound preform, which is adjustable for the most comfortable pitch angle. When your subjects retire, the tray member can be stripped of its impression compound and reloaded with new material.

BiteBuddy components

Most experiments require more than one subject. Thus the BiteBuddy is shipped with three tray members which are interchangeable in the assembly. Additional sets of three trays with preformed compound are available if needed. The price for the BiteBuddy with three trays is $150, and a set of three additional trays is $50. A slab of virgin impression material (which will charge three trays) is available at our cost of $2.50. If these items are ordered at the same time as a HeadSpot, there is no additional shipping or handling charge.

The eyeballs are in a fixed location with regard to the upper teeth. If we can locate the teeth, we can locate the eyeballs. This is useful when precise position must be established and regained following a recess break.

This is done using a dental impression tray, quite similar to what a dentist might use to model dentition.

The impression tray, mounted on its support members, simply replaces the chincup on the HeadSpot.

The impression tray is preloaded with a heat-softening wax-like material. When warmed to approximately 125°F [usually using hot water], it becomes soft enough for the subject to bite into. Bite in, gently, then hold for a few minutes while the compound cools.

The result is a custom impression that will only fit one individual, but will be in the same relation to the skull as it was when impressed. Another subject will not fit onto a used BiteBuddy tray. Each subject must have his/her own. If your experiments require a large group of subjects, then you'll need a tray for each.

For storage, they're usually rinsed, then wrapped in a paper towel and stored on the shelf. Nobody's mouth is sterile, so it's futile to sterilize the trays. Simple cleanliness is sufficient.

When a subject is finished with the experiment, the wax may be removed and replacement material applied. We can supply this material, or it can be obtained from most dental supply firms. Note that the BiteBuddy material is applied by molding means, and in the field replacement won't be as 'pretty' as the 'factory' installation.