This study aims to describe the characteristics of patients at a temporomandibular dysfunction and orofacial pain outpatient clinic and to discuss the insertion of nursing care in this service. A questionnaire based on the steps of the Nursing Process was applied to a sample of 150 patients attended from May to August 2003. Patients from both genders and aged between 12 and 77 years old were sequentially admitted to the study. Population data revealed that a majority was female (85%); the predominant age was from 21 to 60 years old (76%); only 3% did not present any formal instruction. The nursing role introduced in this multidisciplinary clinic created conditions to assess demographic and epidemiologic data, identify user needs and develop self-care abilities and attitudes. The proposed model made is possible to organize data collection and promote research.