Twenty-eight odontogenic abscesses were examined for the presence of black-pigmented Bacteroides spp. Of the 28 samples, 26 were found to contain one or more species of black-pigmented Bacteroides. Abscesses were divided into three categories according to the tissue of origin: endodontal, periodontal, and pericoronal. Four abscesses which developed after extraction were also examined. It was found that Bacteroides endodontalis, a newly described species of asaccharolytic black-pigmented Bacteroides, was isolated almost exclusively from periapical abscesses of endodontal origin. B. intermedius proved to be the most frequently isolated species in all of the samples. B. gingivalis was present in all of the periodontal abscesses studied, as well as in two endodontal abscesses. B. melaninogenicus was recovered once from a pericoronal abscess. Precautions for the isolation of B. endodontalis are discussed.