Although molecular studies have revealed potential oral pathogens among the phyla Spirochaetes and Deferribacteres, their occurrence in endodontic infections has not been consistently investigated. In this study, we devised a nested PCR-DGGE approach to survey samples from infected root canals for the presence of members of these two phyla, and to examine their diversity. The primers used also amplified DNA from Atopobium species. Eight of 10 cases showed bands representative of the target bacterial groups. DGGE profiles revealed a mean number of 6.5 intense and faint bands. No single band occurred in all profiles. Sequences from intense bands excised from the gel showed similarities to species/phylotypes of all target groups-Flexistipes species (Deferribacteres phylum), uncharacterized spirochetes, and Atopobium species. Analysis of these data indicates that uncultivated Spirochaetes and Deferribacteres phylotypes are frequent members of the endodontic microbiota and may be potential pathogens involved with the etiology of periradicular diseases.