The effects of the Holmium:YAG irradiation on the pulpal tissues and surface topography on root surface dentin in human teeth in vivo were studied. The exposed root surfaces of seventeen pre-immediate denture patients were scaled and root planed with a Gracey 3 - 4 curette apical to the dentinoenamel junction until smooth and hard. The prepared root surfaces of two teeth per patient were exposed with Holmium:YAG laser energy after an application of nonfilled resin/fluoride mixture. The laser exposed areas were below the dentinoenamel junction around one-half of each root surface. The opposing sides of each of the teeth received resin/fluoride but no laser energy. A third tooth was identified as a nontreated control. The HO:YAG at 2.12 microns wavelength with a defocused beam size of 3 mm was used. The amount of laser energy delivered per 3 X 5 mm area was 0.450 (+/- .05) joules with a fluence of 2.66 - 3.30 J/cm2. The teeth were extracted after periods of 45 - 120 days. The specimens were fixed in formalin and prepared for histological examination using hematoxylin and eosin stains. Microscopic evaluation of room surfaces showed increased smoothness on the laser treated sites compared to their opposing non-lased sides. Histological examination of the pulpal tissues exhibited no abnormal changes. No clinical symptoms of pulpal pathology were produced. HO:YAG laser energy proved safe for treating room surfaces of human teeth in vivo under conditions presented in this study.