Using four different clinical methods to assess the surface roughness of Concise and Spheraloy samples finished with four different treatments, two dentists untrained as evaluators found the following: 1. Although the control profile measurements showed significant differences both between the two materials and the four surface treatments (p less than .001), no clinical assessment method differentiated clearly between all treatments, especially for Concise. 2. Differentiation between the surface treatments was shown best for Spheraloy by the clinical criteria, abraded glass blocks, and ranked photographic negatives. For Concise the best results were shown by the clinical criteria and abraded glass blocks. However, evaluator agreements were highest for Spheraloy with the ranked replica profiles and photographic negatives. For Concise the highest agreements were with the ranked replica profiles. 3. Differentiation between pairs of each material finished with the same surface treatment was shown best by the ranked replica profiles and photographic negatives. These two methods also gave the highest evaluator agreements. 4. Where possible, the use of suitable visual ranking assessment methods rather than clinical ratings or scores to assess surface roughness is preferred for dentists untrained as evaluators.