In dental health care, the application of ultrashort laser pulses enables dental tissue ablation free from thermal side effects, such as melting and cracking. However, these laser types create undesired micro- and nanoparticles, which might cause a health risk for the patient or surgeon. The aim of this study was to investigate the driving mechanisms of micro- and nanoparticle formation during ultrashort pulse laser ablation of dental tissue. Time-resolved microscopy was chosen to observe the ablation dynamics of mammoth ivory after irradiation with 660 fs laser pulses. The results suggest that nanoparticles might arise in the excited region. The thermal expansion of the excited material induces high pressure in the surrounding bulk tissue, generating a pressure wave. The rarefaction wave behind this pressure wave causes spallation, leading to ejection of microparticles.