OBJECTIVES: (1) To identify perceived musculo-skeletal disorders and intensity of pain among the employees in the non-private dental clinics; (2) To assess perceived psychosocial and physical work conditions on the localization and intensity of musculo-skeletal disorders and pain. STUDY DESIGN: A questionnaire, comprising four sections (demographic, self-reported psychosocial and physical work conditions, self-reported disorders from the musculo-skeletal system, self-reported intensity of pain on nine different localization on the body) was mailed to 391 employees. Of these, 338 reported musculo-skeletal disorders. In this latter group, 239 reported work as the cause. These employees completed the questionnaire. RESULTS: The greatest amount of pain was reported for the cervico-brachial region. Among all participants, a response pattern was found where the physical work demands were very high, the psychosocial work demands fairly high, the work climate supportive, and the control over work moderate. At an occupational group level, theoretical inconsistencies were identified in terms of a lack of anticipated relationships, especially for the dentist groups. CONCLUSIONS: For a scientific and social purpose, more research, which identifies relationships between work-related musculo-skeletal pain and dos-response , effort-reward , and demand-control  aspects of the working conditions, is clearly needed.