The structural and chemical modifications induced in dentin by ultrafast laser ablation were studied. The laser experiments were performed with a Yb:KYW chirped-pulse-regenerative amplification laser system (560-fs pulse duration, 1030-nm radiation wavelength), fluences in the range 2 to
, 1-kHz pulse repetition rate, and
scanning speed. The ablation surfaces were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The ablation surfaces produced with
presented an irregular morphology with exposed dentinal tubules and no evidence of thermal effects. For 7 and
, the ablation surfaces were covered by a layer of redeposited ablation debris, consisting mainly of amorphous calcium phosphate. This layer is weakly adherent to the underlying tissue and can be easily removed by ultrasonication, revealing a surface with a morphology similar to the one obtained with
. The constitution of the dentin ablation surfaces is similar to the constitution of pristine dentin, showing that, within this fluence range, the laser treatment does not significantly modify the structure and constitution of dentin. The results achieved suggest an ablation mechanism where collagen is preferentially decomposed by the laser radiation, reducing the tissue cohesive strength and leading, ultimately, to its ablation.