Local administration of antibiotics in periodontal therapy can be provided with an appropriate delivery system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical effectiveness of chitosan, both as a carrier in gel form and as an active agent in the treatment of chronic periodontitis (CP). The chitosan gel (1 % w/w) incorporated with or without 15 % metronidazole was prepared and applied adjunctive to scaling and root planing (SRP) in comparison to SRP alone (control group-C), in CP patients. The clinical parameters such as probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level, the amount of gingival recession, plaque index, gingival index, and gingival bleeding time index were recorded at baseline and at weeks 6, 12, and 24. In all groups, significant improvements were observed in clinical parameters between baseline and week 24 (p < 0.05). The reductions in PD values were 1.21 mm for Ch, 1.48 mm for Ch + M, and 0.94 mm for C groups. No complications related to the chitosan were observed in patients throughout the study period. It is suggested that chitosan itself is effective as well as its combination with metronidazole in CP treatment due to its antimicrobial properties. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.