Erbium hard tissue lasers have the capability to prepare enamel, dentin, caries, cementum, and bone in addition to cutting soft tissue. The ability of hard tissue lasers to reduce or eliminate vibrations, the audible whine of drills, microfractures, and some of the discomfort that many patients fear and commonly associate with high-speed handpieces is impressive. In addition, these lasers can be used with a reduced amount of local anesthetic for many procedures. Today, these instruments have evolved from their initial use for all classes of cavity preparations to their ability for removing soft tissue, their usefulness in the disinfection of bacteria within endodontic canals, and most recently, as an alternative to the high speed handpiece for the removal of bone in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In addition, recent research has centered on the value of the erbium family of laser wavelengths in periodontics, including the removal of calculus.