Using an atomic force microscope (AFM) with an attachment specifically designed for indentation, we measured the mechanical properties of demineralized human dentin under three conditions: in water, in air after desiccation, and in water after rehydration. The static elastic modulus (E(h)r = 134 kPa) and viscoelastic responses (tau(epsilon) = 5.1 s and tau(sigma) = 6.6 s) of the hydrated, demineralized collagen scaffolding were determined from the standard linear solid model of viscoelasticity. No significant variation of these properties was observed with location. On desiccation, the samples showed considerably larger elastic moduli (2 GPa), and a hardness value of 0.2 GPa was measured. Upon rehydration the elastic modulus decreased but did not fully recover to the value prior to dehydration (381 kPa).