Canadian Diagnostic Network

Bone Density Scan

Bone Density Scan

A bone density scan is both non-invasive and pain-free. This test determines the strength of your bones by measuring the grams of calcium and other bone minerals. 

Symptoms and Diagnosis

This test will report the likelihood of developing osteoporosis, a disease of fragile and weak bone and occasionally even find osteoporosis related fractures that have already occurred.

This Scan will help to:

  • Assess and identify decreases in bone density before you break a bone
  • Determine your risk of broken bones (fractures)
  • Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • Monitor osteoporosis treatment

You may be referred to have this test if you have:

  • Lost height
  • Fractured a bone
  • Taken certain drugs
  • Received a transplant
  • Had a drop in hormone levels

What to expect at your Bone Density Scan appointment.

Bone density scans require minimal and brief preparation. If you’ve recently had a barium exam, had contrast material injected for a CT scan, or nuclear medicine test, ensure you let the clinic know. The amount of radiation you’re exposed to is extremely low.

Before Your Scan

Before the bone density scan, you may be asked to wear a paper gown. Do not take calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before your bone density test.

During The Scan

An x-ray machine will scan those areas where bone degradation is most commonly found including the back and hips with minimal physical contact.

After The Scan 

Once the test is complete you will be able to return to your normal activities.


The test will be interpreted by a radiologist and the results will be communicated to your referring doctor. You may discuss the results of the exam with your doctor at a follow-up appointment.

Schedule Your Appointment

Please complete the Quick Form below. After you submit this information, CDN support will contact you by email to confirm your appointment. If you have a medical emergency, dial 911

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Canadian Diagnostic Network