It is important to know how much heat is generated when a root surface is debrided with sonic scalers and if that heat can be released satisfactorily into the environment. The temperature changes that occurred in dentinal specimens treated with two different sonic scaler tips, used with and without coolant, were studied. Temperature increases of up to 4 degrees C were observed for both tips when a coolant was used. Heat propagation during instrumentation was dependent to a considerable degree on the temperature of the coolant. Sonic scalers should not be used without coolant, because the dentinal temperature may increase up to 35 degrees C, depending on the force of application. A high positive linear correlation was found between increase in temperature and force of application.