Bone Densitometry Scan

Understanding DEXA Bone Densitometry

A DEXA bone densitometry scan measures your bone mineral density (BMD) or bone mass.

Your physician can use the results of your test to recommend treatment programs designed to slow down or even reverse the degenerative effects of osteoporosis. In this way, bone densitometry measurements are an important part of proactive treatment programs designed to prevent loss of bone mass and avoid debilitating bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Measurements of bone density can help with the following:

  • Detect osteoporosis before bone fractures occur
  • Predict your changes of future bone fractures
  • Determine your rate of bone loss
  • Monitor the effects of bone replacement therapy

Why DEXA Bone Densitometry?

Bone densitometry tests are performed with a bone densitometer. Although there are several types of bone densitometers, measurements obtained using DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorption) densitometers are clearly regarded as the most accurate. This is because DEXA densitometers precisely measure BMD at the spine and hip, which are the two sites that have the greatest potential for a disabling fracture.

Our DEXA densitometer uses a scanner, computer technology, and an extremely low dose of radiation to generate your BMD measurements. In fact, DEXA bone densitometers use less than one-tenth the amount of radiation of the normal chest X-ray.

Based on the results of your exam, your physician may recommend bone replacement therapy and follow-up bone densitometry.

Preparing for Your Bone Densitometry Test

Your bone densitometry test requires no preparation at all. You may eat and drink as you normally do. And, although you may wear any clothing you like, please avoid wearing any metal objects, such as buttons, zippers or buckles as they can interfere with the scan.

Your Bone Densitometry Test

During the exam, you will lie on a table under a bone density scanner. Your technologist will be seated in the room with you. Once your exam starts, lie still, breathe normally and rest comfortably - the exam is absolutely painless. Depending on the type of exam your physician has requested, your bone densitometry test should take only a few minutes. A total body measurement will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Payment and Insurance

Please remember to bring your insurance information.

SouthCoast Imaging Center participates in most major insurance plans. We will be pleased to bill your insurance company for you, upon request.