BACKGROUND This study evaluated the effects of diclofenac sodium and meloxicam on peri-implant bone healing. METHODS Thirty male rats were divided into three groups: the control group (CG) received no drug; the diclofenac sodium group (DSG) received 1.07 mg/kg twice a day for 5 days; and the meloxicam group (MG) received 0.2 mg/kg daily for 5 days. A screw-shaped titanium implant was placed in the tibia. Fluorochromes, oxytetracycline (OxT), calcein (CA), and alizarin (AL), were injected at 7, 14, and 21 days, respectively, after implantation, and the animals were sacrificed 28 days after implant placement. The percentages of OxT-, CA-, and AL-labeled bone as well as the percentages of bone-to-implant contact (BIC), cortical bone area (CBA), and trabecular bone area (TBA) within the implant threads were evaluated. RESULTS Bone healing was delayed in the DSG during the first 14 days after implant placement (OxT-labeled bone: DSG: 5.3% +/- 7.3% versus CG: 13.2% +/- 9.8%, P = 0.002, and versus MG:14.4% +/- 13.1%, P = 0.05). The percentages of BIC (DSG: 49.6% +/- 21.9%; MG: 67.1% +/- 22.8%; and CG: 68.1% +/- 22.8%) and CBA (DSG: 63.7% +/- 21.2%; MG: 82.7% +/- 12.4%; CG: 84.9% +/- 10.6%) were lower in the DSG compared to the MG and CG (P <0.001). The percentage of TBA was significantly greater in the DSG compared to the MG and CG (DSG: 36.3% +/- 21.2% versus MG: 17.3% +/- 12.7% and versus CG: 15.1% +/- 10.6%; P <0.001). CONCLUSION Diclofenac sodium seemed to delay peri-implant bone healing and to decrease BIC, whereas meloxicam had no negative effect on peri-implant bone healing.