The efficacy of the selective cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor meloxicam for treatment of postoperative oral surgical pain was assessed in a randomized controlled trial. Patients undergoing unilateral mandibular 3rd molar extraction surgery were allocated to 3 groups, A, B and C. After oral premedication of meloxicam 10 mg in group A, ampiroxicam 27 mg in group B and placebo in group C, surgery was completed within 30 min under local anaesthesia using 2% lidocaine. For postoperative pain relief the patients were allowed to take oral loxoprofen (60 mg per tablet). Postoperative pain was evaluated at the clinic on the 1st, 7th and 14th postoperative day (POD) using a visual analogue scale (VAS), as was the number of loxoprofen tablets consumed, and the results were compared among the 3 groups with statistical significance of P<0.05. VAS scores on 1 POD were significantly lower in group A than in group C. Loxoprofen consumption on the day of surgery and 1 POD was significantly lower in group A than in group C (P<0.01). Total analgesic consumption was significantly lower in groups A and B than in group C (P<0.02). The COX-2 inhibitor, meloxicam 10 mg used for premedication reduced postoperative pain compared with control in oral surgery.