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How to Get a Bone Density Test

You don’t have to be told that your health is important. Routine physicals and testing provide you and your doctor the necessary information to keep your body in its best possible condition. Especially as we age, we become more susceptible to bone loss, called osteoporosis, which increases risk of fracture or disability. Your healthcare professional may want to you have a bone density scan as part of your care.

A bone density test is a radiological exam that can diagnose osteoporosis before any fracture occurs. The test will show your provider the density of your bones so your healthcare provider can make any necessary recommendations to protect against future bone loss. This test is very common and requires very little preparation on your part.

How to Get a Bone Density TestYou will need a referral for a bone density exam. Watson Imaging Center offers convenient appointments so your wait time is low. Just bring your referral with you, or tell your doctor that you would like your exam completed at Watson Imaging Center. When you arrive, we will take your insurance and/or payment information and make sure you are at ease with the process.

A bone density test, also referred to as a DEXA scan, is noninvasive and painless. There is no injection needed, and you won’t be put into a tunnel. You will lie on your back on a flat X-ray table and remain still for 10-20 minutes. During the scan, a large scanning arm is passed over your body to measure bone density.  A narrow beam of low-dose X-rays passes through the part of your body being examined. In context, you are exposed to 10x more radiation in a flight from New York to San Francisco than you are during a bone density scan. Bone density exams are an extremely safe and effective way to determine any issues with your bone health.

Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that does not have any metal components. You can remain clothed during the test, but you will be asked to remove any jewelry or clothing with metal components like a belt buckle or zipper. Also, make sure your pockets are emptied of keys and coins. Loose clothing, such as you would wear to exercise, are usually a safe bet.

You eat normally and take your regular prescribed medications on the day of your exam. Your doctor will likely recommend that you don’t take any vitamins or supplements on the morning of your test, and be sure not to take any calcium supplements for at least 24 hours before the exam.

Do you have questions about getting a bone density exam? Call the professionals at Watson Imaging Center. Imaging is all we do, and our focus is always on you and your health. With convenient hours and location, your bone density test will be stress free at Watson Imaging Center. Appointments available now at (314) 781-9711.

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St. Louis, MO - Hours
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Friday
8am - 12pm
Directions & Address
3915 Watson Rd.
LL2
St. Louis, MO 63109-1251