Bone Mineral Density (BMD)

Mackenzie Health is pleased to provide Bone Mineral Density scans with a scheduled appointment.

What is a Bone Mineral Density test?

A Bone Mineral Density (also known as BMD, Bone Densitometry or DEXA) test is an easy, non-invasive test that measures the mineral density (such as calcium) in your bones. The test uses x-ray technology to measure bone loss and is conducted on a patient's lower spine and hip areas.

Bone Mineral Density tests help physicians detect osteoporosis, which is a reduction in bone density, show the effectiveness of treatment for osteoporosis and assess the risk of developing fractures.

Learn more about Bone Mineral Density tests at RadiologyInfo.org.

What are the benefits and risks of a Bone Mineral Density test?

A Bone Mineral Density test is a safe and accurate way to diagnose osteoporosis. The amount of x-ray radiation used is extremely small – less than one-tenth of the dose of a standard chest x-ray.

Referring a Patient

A completed Diagnostic Imaging requisition form must be completed by a physician and can be faxed to 905-883-0772.

Please ensure the requisition form includes the referring physician's information and signature, patient information as well as the patient's clinical history including the date of their last Bone Mineral Density test.

To obtain a copy of the general Diagnostic Imaging requisition form, visit the referral and consent forms page.

How do I receive my appointment date and time?

A representative from Mackenzie Health’s Scheduling Office will call you three to five days after they receive your completed referral with your:

  • Appointment date, time and location
  • Arrival time 
  • Associated preparation instructions for the test 

A few days before your appointment, you will receive an automated phone reminder where you can confirm or cancel your appointment through the automated system.  MyChart users will receive an e-mail reminder of their upcoming appointment. 

You can also log in to MyChart to view appointment dates/times, confirm your upcoming appointments and complete the pre-registration process using the eCheck-In service.

Can I have a Bone Mineral Density test if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

Let your physician know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Bone Mineral Density tests are not performed while pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, please cancel your exam and speak with your physician before rescheduling.
  • Bone Mineral Density tests can be performed if you are breastfeeding.

Patients may cancel an appointment via MyChart but will need to re-schedule by calling the Scheduling Office at 905-883-1212 ext. 2004 from Richmond Hill or 905-417-2000 ext. 2004 from Vaughan.

How frequently can Bone Mineral Density tests be performed?

Patients who haven’t previously had a Bone Mineral Density test at Mackenzie Health, are advised that Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) regulations allow for only one baseline Bone Mineral Density test for screening purposes.

  • Patients who are deemed low risk are restricted to a second test 36 months after the baseline test. All subsequent Bone Mineral Density tests are then restricted to one test every 60 months.
  • Patients who are deemed high risk can have a follow-up Bone Mineral Density test one year plus one day after their last test.

Your referring physician will determine if you fall into a low risk or high risk category.

How do I prepare for a Bone Mineral Density test?

You will receive a reminder notification a few days prior to your scheduled appointment. Please ensure you confirm or cancel through the automated system. 

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to the appointment time. 

  • A reminder, Mackenzie Health is a scent-free environment. 

There is no clinical preparation required for Bone Mineral Density tests. 

  • You are responsible to ensure that you have had no barium, CT contrast or Nuclear Medicine scans in the five days leading up to your scheduled Bone Mineral Density test. To reschedule an appointment, please call 905-883-1212 ext. 2004 or 905-417-2000 ext. 2004. 
  • Please do not wear any jewelry, belts, zippers or other metal objects close to the area being scanned (lower spine and hip). 
  • Inform the scheduler if you will need assistance transferring to the scanning table so we can allocate appropriate time and resources for your appointment. 

What do I do when I arrive at the hospital?

Please arrive 20 minutes prior to your appointment time.

For appointments at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital:

  • You may park in the visitors parking lot, located north of the hospital, and enter through the D-wing entrance near the Emergency Department. Click here for more information on parking services.
  • Please allow yourself extra time during peak hours, as finding parking can take longer than expected. If possible, consider taking public transit, or getting dropped off by a family member or friend.
  • Check-in at Patient Registration located on level two of the C-wing using our self-serve kiosks.

How long does a Bone Mineral Density test take?

On average, Bone Mineral Density tests take approximately 15 minutes.

How do I reschedule my appointment?

Please provide 48 hours' notice if you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment. Patients can cancel their appointments online using MyChart but will need to reschedule by calling the Scheduling Office at 905-883-1212 ext. 2004 from Richmond Hill or 905-417-2000 ext. 2004 from Vaughan.

Are you looking for a CD copy of your images?

Mackenzie Health has partnered with PocketHealth to give patients online access to view and share their images from our hospital and other participating organizations at a reduced fee. This includes x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans and other medical imaging results.

Log in to your MyChart account to access this and additional features including eCheck-In, lab and test results, preparation instructions for upcoming appointments and more!

What are the benefits to accessing my images online?

By accessing your images online, you can:

  • Save time as there's no need to visit the hospital to obtain a CD
  • Save money on parking and reduced fees
  • Share your images online directly with your requesting physician
  • View images from our and other participating hospitals and x-ray clinics

To learn more, please visit the MyChart FAQs section of our website.

How do I sign up?

Log in to your MyChart Account, visit the Test Results page and follow the link to our partner site, PocketHealth. From there, you can access your images in three easy steps:

  1. Enter your patient information, including name, date of birth and health card number
  2. Consent to the terms and conditions of the services being provided
  3. Complete a secure payment of $5

Can I come to the hospital and pick up my images in person?

You can request a CD copy of your health records from Health Information Services at Mackenzie Health for a small fee. Please visit our Health Information Services page for more information. 

What will I have online access to?

If you sign up for MyChart, you will have online access to:

  • Check in online 7 days prior to your next appointment using our eCheck-In* service
  • View past and upcoming appointments
  • View preparation instructions for upcoming appointments
  • Complete pre-visit questionnaires*
  • Cancel appointments*
  • Update your demographics at any time (includes address, phone number, family physician, and more)
  • View lab and test results
  • View and share Diagnostic images including X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRI scans and more
  • Clinical notes on your care and treatment
  • Track your health*
  • Access your list of conditions or medical concerns diagnosed at Mackenzie Health as well as your prescribed medications and known allergies

*Available for select clinics

You can register for MyChart when scheduling an appointment or you can self-sign up online at mychart.mackenziehealth.ca.

How do I complete a pre-visit questionnaire?

Questionnaires can be accessed in MyChart through the Health Tab then clicking on Questionnaires. Here you will see a list of questionnaires to be completed along with their due dates, which is typically the date of your upcoming appointment.

Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital

10 Trench St.
Richmond Hill, ON L4C 4Z3
Local to Richmond Hill: 905-883-1212
Local to Vaughan: 905-417-2000
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