Various techniques have been used to repair maxillary defects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suitability of pedicled temporal musculoperiosteal flap (PTMF) and free calvarial bone graft for the reconstruction of maxillary defects. In this retrospective series, 34 patients operated on from 1995 to 2006 at Turku University Central Hospital because of defects of maxilla reconstructed using PTMF with or without free calvarial bone graft were evaluated. The diagnosis, the indication for surgery, the location and staging of the tumours, and the type of radiotherapy used were reviewed. The classification of the maxillary defects was performed according to the classification of Brown (Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 40:183-190, 2002) and the success rates of the reconstructions were evaluated. Of the patients, 32 had been operated on due to a malignant tumour, one due to a benign tumour and one due to posttraumatic palatal defect. Preoperative radiotherapy (n = 14), preoperative chemoradiotherapy (n = 2) or postoperative radiotherapy (n = 11) had been used in the tumour group. As a reconstructive method, PTMF had been used with (n = 21) or without (n = 13) free calvarial bone graft. The use of free calvarial bone graft did not have a significant effect on flap survival. At 1-month follow-up, the flap survival in the 32 patients was 71.9%, whereas 28.1% of the patients suffered from partial flap loss, but there was no total flap loss. At 6-month follow-up, the flap survival in 26 patients was 76.9%, whereas 7.7% of the patients suffered from partial flap loss, and there were four (15.4%) total flap losses. If unilateral alveolar maxillectomy had been performed (Brown classification a), at 1-month follow-up, the flap survival was 82.6%, 17.4% of the patients suffered from partial flap loss, and there was no total flap loss. At 6-month follow-up, the flap survival was 89.5%, while 10.5% of the patients suffered from partial flap loss, and there was no total flap loss. The application of PTMF with or without free calvarial bone graft for reconstruction of limited palatal and maxillary defects appears to be feasible.