The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of Nd:YAG laser pulpotomy to formocresol pulpotomy on human primary teeth. Patients with a primary tooth that required pulpotomy because of pulpal exposure to caries, were selected for this study. After removal of coronal pulpal tissue, Nd:YAG laser at 2 W, 20 Hz, 100 mJ or a 1:5 dilution of formocresol was introduced into the canal orifice for complete hemostasis. IRM paste was then placed over the pulp stump, and the tooth was restored either with composite resin or stainless steel crown. Sixty-eight teeth were treated with Nd:YAG laser and followed up for 6 to 64 months. Clinical success was achieved in 66 out of the 68 teeth (97 %), and 94.1 % were radiographically successful. In the control group, 69 primary molars were treated with formocresol and followed up for 9 to 66 months; 85.5 and 78.3% achieved clinical and radiographic success, respectively. The success rate of Nd:YAG laser pulpotomy was significantly higher than that of formocresol pulpotomy. The permanent successors of the laser-treated teeth erupted without any complications.