Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School
Bone density tests can be done in the radiology department of a hospital, a radiology diagnostic center, or a doctor's office. You lie on a table that has an overhanging cover, resembling a tanning bed, while a radiologist or x-ray technician moves a scanner above your spine, hip, or wrist. The test takes 10-20 minutes. The test itself is painless, but you may experience some discomfort because you have to lie still.