Recent demonstrations of the superficial nature and ease of removal of root-surface-associated cytotoxic materials suggest that extensive root-surface instrumentation is not warranted clinically. This in vitro investigation determined the detoxifying effects of a conservative regime of ultrasonic root debridement, using the Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as an indication of the presence or absence of cytotoxic materials. 20 extracted periodontally-involved single-rooted teeth, with no clinically detectable calculus deposits, were debrided with a Cavitron TF-10 tip. Light pressure, resulting from a force application of approximately 50 g, lasting for 0.8 s/mm2 of root surface was used and complete overlapping instrumentation ensured. The finding of LPS levels of less than 2.5 ng per root in 19 out of 20 teeth after such debridement was comparable to LPS levels found on healthy, uninvolved control teeth, and thus endorses the growing belief that root surface cleanliness can be readily achieved.