A meta-analytic technique was used to estimate the survival of implants supporting bridges or single crowns in partially edentulous patients. A survey of the literature revealed 66 studies, published between 1986 and 1996. Nine studies on single implants and 10 studies on fixed partial dentures met the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. Data from a total of 2686 implants, 570 single crowns (SC) and 2116 in fixed partial dentures (FPD). were analyzed. In order to calculate annual survival rates for individual studies a life-table analysis was conducted. Maximum follow-up time ranged between 1 and 8 years. After 1 year the success rate was calculated to be at least 85.7% for FPD and 97.2% for SC. When the results from the FPD studies were pooled the survival rate was 93.6% after 6–7 years. The corresponding value for SC was 97.5%.