Infrared lasers are reported to have thermal side effects which may damage pulp tissue. This study investigated the thermal effects of the pulsed Nd:YAG laser. Prepared, extracted teeth were measured prior to irradiation. Temperature was recorded using a thermocouple/data logging system. Laser irradiation was carried out with or without water spray for an exposure time of ten seconds. Results indicated that dry irradiation produced unacceptable temperature rises with dentine thicknesses used. Wet irradiation produced a significantly lower temperature rise. It was concluded that the Nd:YAG laser produced thermal effects which could potentially cause pulpal trauma. A water coolant was effective in reducing these thermal effects, but the temperature rise achieved whilst using water coolant may still cause pulpal damage.