The Usage of the Terms Mandibular Canal, Inferior Alveolar Canal, and Inferior Dental Canal in the Academia: A Bibliometric Analysis

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Andy Wai Kan Yeung


A recent study found that the mandibular canal might be preferably called the inferior alveolar canal in recent publication years, certain journal categories, countries and departments with which the authors were affiliated. The canal can also be called the inferior dental canal that was not included in that study. This bibliometric analysis was conducted to evaluate the entire relevant literature, and to investigate if inferior alveolar canal was trending over the years. The Web of Science Core Collection electronic database was searched to identify publications exclusively mentioning mandibular canal, inferior alveolar canal, inferior dental canal, and publications mentioning them in combinations. Publication year, country of contributing authors, journal category, journal title, and citation count were recorded for the resultant publications. There were 1152 publications analyzed. Mandibular canal has always been the dominating term since the 1990s, whereas inferior alveolar canal seemed to become slightly more popular in the 2010s than in the past. Journals from dentistry, surgery, radiology, anatomy, and medicine all showed a preference towards mandibular canal. Leading dental surgery journals had a higher ratio of inferior alveolar canal usage than their dental radiology counterparts. Top 20 countries showed a preference towards mandibular canal except Saudi Arabia, which had 57.7 % of publications using inferior alveolar canal exclusively. Publications mentioning mandibular canal, inferior alveolar canal, and inferior dental canal did not differ in averaged citation count. The term mandibular canal was still dominating in all academic fields. The term inferior alveolar canal showed increased usage in the 2010s without an increasing trend. The argumentation of renaming mandibular canal as inferior alveolar canal has yet to accumulate considerable traction.

KEY WORDS: Dentistry; Anatomy; Mandibular canal; Inferior alveolar canal; Inferior dental canal.

How to cite this article

YEUNG, A. W. K. The usage of the terms mandibular canal, inferior alveolar canal, and inferior dental canal in the academia: A bibliometric analysis. Int. J. Morphol., 39(4):1058-1062, 2021.