This study evaluated the possibility of the 3-dimensional attachment of human periodontal ligament fibroblasts to a periodntally involved root surface after an EDTA treatment in vitro. The human PDL fibroblasts were isolated from the middle third of the root of periodontally healthy teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons. The cells were cultured in a medium containing Dulbecco's modified Eagle medium supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum at 37degrees C in humidified air containing 5% CO2. Eight single-rooted teeth were obtained from patients diagnosed with periodotitis. After scaling and root planing, four teeth were etched with 24% ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA) for two minutes (Experimental group). The other four teeth were not treated with EDTA and were used as the control group. The human PDL fibroblasts were placed in the total root surface and cultured for 4 weeks. The teeth were fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde in PBS before preparation for the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination. The human PDL fibroblasts showed a healthy morphology on the root surfaces treated with EDTA (Experimental group) and a relatively unhealthy appearance on the treated root surfaces (Control group). This suggests that EDTA favorably affects the 3-dimensional attachment of human PDL fibroblasts cultured on the root surfaces, which may play an important role in periodontal healing and regeneration.