A whole body bone densitometer, on which the patient lies during a bone density test, resembles a large padded examination table. The densitometer measures bone density at various sites in the body by using a small amount of radiation. There are "Whole Body Densitometry" and "Extremity Bone Densitometers."
A bone densitometer can detect osteoporosis before a fracture occurs, predict your chances of fractures and determine the rate of bone loss. This test also can monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more. Calcium, an essential mineral in the diet is needed to combine with the mineral phosphorous to form the dense, hard material found in teeth and bones.
Dexa Scan is an acronym for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It is a type of bone-mineral density test and is considered the gold standard in bone-density measurement accuracy and precision. The test is painless and takes less than 10 minutes.