The use of the carbon dioxide laser for the removal of soft tissue lesions in the oral cavity is presented. The laser was used to remove numerous benign lesions and growths, for incisional and excisional biopsies, and for the removal of microinvasive and macroinvasive carcinomas. Owing to its coagulation properties, the laser was used effectively in treating patients with oral lesions compounded by blood dyscrasias. Because of the advantages of a relatively bloodless surgery; decreased postoperative discomfort; minimal swelling and scarring; and the laser's ability to coagulate, vaporize, or cut, the CO2 surgical laser offers the dental surgeon a viable and in many cases an improved alternative to the scalpel. Laser techniques and several case reports are discussed.