The efficiency of public policies includes the measurement of the health resources used and their associated costs. There is a lack of studies evaluating the economic impact of oral cancer (OC). This study aims to estimate the healthcare costs of OC in Brazil from 2008 to 2016. This is a partial economic evaluation using the gross costing top-down method, considering the direct healthcare costs related to outpatients, inpatients, intensive care units, and the number of procedures, from the perspective of the public health sector. The data were extracted from the Outpatient and Inpatient Information System of the National Health System, by diagnosis according to the 10.sup.th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, according to sites of interest: C00 to C06, C09 and C10. The values were adjusted for annual accumulated inflation and expressed in 2018 I$ (1 I$ = R$2,044). Expenditure on OC healthcare in Brazil was I$495.6 million, which was composed of 50.8% (I$251.6 million) outpatient and 49.2% (I$244.0 million) inpatient healthcare. About 177,317 admissions and 6,224,236 outpatient procedures were registered. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy comprised the largest number of procedures (88.8%) and costs (94.9%). Most of the costs were spent on people over 50 years old (72.9%) and on males (75.6%). Direct healthcare costs in Brazil for OC are substantial. Outpatient procedures were responsible for the highest total cost; however, inpatient procedures had a higher cost per procedure. Men over 50 years old consumed most of the cost and procedures for OC. The oropharynx and tongue were the sites with the highest expenditure. Further studies are needed to investigate the cost per individual, as well as direct non-medical and indirect costs of OC.