Clinical applications of Er:YAG laser are now developing in periodontics and restorative dentistry. To date, there have been few studies indicating safety criteria for intraoral usage of the Er:YAG laser. The present study examined the effects of the Er:YAG laser on bone tissues, supposing mis- irradiation in the oral cavity during dental application, especially periodontal surgery. The experiments were performed using the newly-developed Er:YAG laser apparatus equipped with a contact probe. In experiment 1, 10 pulses of laser irradiation were administered to the parietal bone of a rat at 50, 150 and 300 mJ/pulse with and without water irrigation, changing the irradiation distance to 0, 5, 10 and 20 mm, respectively. As a control, electric knife was employed. Macroscopic and SEM observations of the wound surface were performed. In experiment 2, laser irradiation in a straight line was performed at 150 mJ/pulse, 1- pps and 0,5, 10 mm irradiation distance without water irrigation. Wound healing was observed histologically at 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28 days after laser irradiation and compared with that of the control. Non-contact irradiation by Er:YAG laser did not cause severe damage to the parietal bone tissue under water irrigation. Contact irradiation induced a limited wound, however, new bone formation was observed 28 days after laser irradiation, while osseous defect with thermal degenerative tissue remained at the control site. In conclusion, irradiation with an Er:YAG laser would not cause severe damage to surrounding bone tissues in the oral cavity when used within the usual power settings for dental treatment. Furthermore, this laser may be applicable for osseous surgery because of its high ablation efficiency and good wound healing after irradiation.