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Covenant Health is an innovative, Catholic regional delivery network and a leader in values based, not-for-profit health and elder care. We sponsor hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living residences and other health and elder care organizations throughout New England.

Bone Health

What's a bone density test? What can I expect?

Bone mass measurement is a simple, painless, non-invasive test that uses small amounts of radiation to determine the density or thickness of the bones in the hip, spine and wrist. Patients lie flat on a table while a small X-ray machine moves overhead. The procedure takes 15 to 20 minutes. In a matter of minutes, technologists and physicians get an accurate picture of a woman's bone density early enough to recommend a course of treatment.

A bone density test measures bone-mineral density and compares the result with the average measurement for women of the same age. Women over 50 or women who have experienced menopause at an early age should consider bone density measurement to establish the risk of osteoporosis.

St. Mary's Health System • 93 Campus Avenue • Lewiston, ME 04240