A desired outcome of scaling and root planing is the complete removal of calculus and infected root tissue and preservation of healthy cementum for rapid healing of periodontal tissues. Conventional periodontal treatments for calculus removal, such as hand instrument scaling and ultrasonic scaling, often deeply scrape the surface of the underlying hard tissue and may leave behind a smear layer. Pulsed lasers emitting at violet wavelengths (specifically, 380 to 400 nm) are a potential alternative treatment since they can selectively ablate dental calculus without ablating pristine hard tissue (i.e., enamel, cementum, and dentin). In this study, light and scanning electron microscopy are used to compare and contrast the efficacy of in vitro calculus removal for several conventional periodontal treatments (hand instruments, ultrasonic scaler, and Er:YAG laser) to calculus removal with a frequency-doubled Ti:sapphire (λ = 400 nm). After calculus removal, enamel and cementum surfaces are investigated for calculus debris and damage to the underlying hard tissue surface. Compared to the smear layer, grooves, and unintentional hard tissue removal typically found using these conventional treatments, calculus removal using the 400-nm laser is complete and selective without any removal of pristine dental hard tissue. Based on these results, selective ablation from the 400-nm laser appears to produce a root surface that would be more suitable for successful healing of periodontal tissues.