Loss of teeth results in irreversible alveolar bone resorption, and untreated dental disease causes alveolar bone lysis that ultimately leads to loss of teeth. In addition to anchoring the teeth in the alveolar ridge, the maxillary and mandibular bone allows dental restoration procedures, such as construction of root-supported implants, fixed dentures, or removable dentures. However, the functional and cosmetic results depend on the quantity and quality of the maxillary or mandibular bone, which can be affected by many normal and abnormal processes. The alveoli are particularly fragile and labile. Changes in alveolar bone vary considerably across individuals and depend directly on local factors. Many studies have investigated associations between alveolar bone status and bone mass at other skeletal sites. These studies focused chiefly on the course of parodontal disease, alveolar ridge resorption after tooth extraction, and density differences across various mandibular sites. They produced conflicting results, probably because of differences in measurement methods. Measurement sites and methods should be standardized to ensure that reliable and comparable data are obtained. To date, there are few reliable methods for obtaining quantitative measurements of bone mineral content in maxillary and mandibular bone.