The purpose of the present study was to assess in a clinical trial over 5 years the results following 4 different modalities of periodontal therapy (pocket elimination or reduction surgery, modified Widman flap surgery, subgingival curettage, and scaling and rool planing). 90 patients were treated. The treatment methods were applied on a random basis to each of the 4 quadrants of the dentition. The patients were given professional tooth cleaning and oral hygiene instructions every 3 months. Pocket depth and attachment levels were scored once a year. 72 patients completed the 5 years of observation. Both patient means for pocket depth and attachment level as well as % distribution of sites with loss of attachment greater than or equal to 2 mm and greater than or equal to 3 mm were compared. For 1-3 mm probing depth, scaling and root planing, as well as subgingival curettage led to significantly less attachment loss than pocket elimination and modified Widman flap surgery. For 4-6 mm pockets, scaling and root planing and curettage had better attachment results than pocket elimination surgery. For the 7-12 mm pockets, there was no statistically significant difference among the results following the various procedures.