The characteristics of laser-treated tooth surfaces depend on the laser wavelength, pulse duration, spatial and temporal laser beam quality, incident fluence, surface roughness, and the presence of water during irradiation. Ablated surfaces are most commonly restored with adhesive dental materials and the characteristics of the ablated surfaces influence adhesion of restorative materials. Previous studies suggest that high bond strengths can be achieved using shorter laser pulses that minimize peripheral thermal damage. In this study, Er:YSGG, Er:YAG, and CO(2) lasers were used at irradiation intensities sufficient to simulate efficient clinical caries removal to uniformly irradiate bovine enamel and human dentin surfaces using a motion control system with a microprocessor-controlled water spray. The degree of spatial overlap of adjacent pulses was varied so as to investigate the influence of irradiation uniformity and surface roughness on the bond strength. Composite resin was bonded to the irradiated surfaces and shear bond tests were used to obtain bond strengths in MPa. The highest results were obtained using the Er:YAG pulses with pulse durations less than 35 mus without the necessity for postirradiation acid etching. Some of these groups were not significantly different from nonirradiated, acid-etch-only positive control groups.