A bone density test, also known as bone mass measurement or bone mineral density test, measures the strength and density of your bones and, when the test is repeated sometime later, can help determine how quickly you are losing bone mass and density. These tests are painless, noninvasive, and safe. They compare your bone density with standards for what is expected in someone of your age, gender, and size, and to the optimal peak bone density of a healthy young adult of the same gender.
Bone density testing can help to:
Detect low bone density before a fracture occurs.
Confirm a diagnosis of osteoporosis if you have already fractured.
Predict your chances of fracturing in the future.
Determine your rate of bone loss and/or monitor the effects of treatment if the test is conducted at intervals of a year or more.