Metagenomic studies traditionally rely on cloning polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products and sequencing multiple clones. However, this approach is tedious and expensive, thereby limiting the range and scale of questions that can be addressed. Recent developments in DNA sequencing technologies enable a dramatic increase in throughput via parallel in-depth analysis of many samples with limited sample processing and lower costs. We directly compared the traditional cloning approach with a barcoded pyrosequencing method to see whether the latter accurately describes microbiome diversity in human saliva. Our results indicate that despite the shorter read lengths, the pyrosequencing approach provides a description of the human salivary microbiome that is in good agreement with results based on the traditional cloning and sequencing approach.