Abstract – The purpose of this retrospective study was to analyse data from the records of patients seen in the dental trauma emergency clinic in a general hospital in the city of Recife, Brazil, during the years 1997–1999, according to sex, age, cause, number of injured teeth, type of tooth and type of trauma. The records of all patients seen by dentists were collected. Altogether, 250 patients from 1 to 59 years of age presenting 403 dental injuries were examined and/or treated. The causes of dento-alveolar trauma were classified in five categories: home injuries, street injuries, school injuries, sports activities, violence. The type of trauma was classified by dentists working at the dental trauma clinic on the basis of Andreasen’s classification. The gender difference in the number of cases of trauma was statistically significant (males 63.2% vs females 36.8) (P<0.0001). Fracture in enamel only (51.6%) and fractures in dentine (40.8%) were the most commonly occurring types of injury. Injuries were most frequently diagnosed as serious among the youngest patients (up to 15 years of age); 82.4% of intrusive luxation cases were diagnosed in the 1–5 years age group. The main causes of tooth injury were falls (72.4%), collisions with objects (9.2%), violence (8.0%), traffic accidents (6.8%) and sports (3.6%). Trauma caused by violence was found to be statistically significant in the 6–15 years age group (P<0.0005).