The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of water storage at 37 degrees C (1 week, 1 month and 3 months) on tooth displacement in maxillary complete dentures. Ten maxillary dentures were constructed with Clássico acrylic resin using the conventional method of packing in metallic flasks. Metallic reference pins were placed in the incisal border of the central incisors (I), labial cusp of the first premolars (PM), and mesiolabial cusp of the second molars (M). Twelve hours after final flask closure, the acrylic resin was cured in water at 74 degrees C for 9 h. The flasks were removed from the thermo-polymerizing unit after water-cooling and the dentures were deflasked, finished and stored in water at a temperature of 37 degrees C for 1 week, 1 month and 3 months. At deflasking and at the water storage intervals, the I-I (incisor to incisor), PM-PM (pre-molar to pre-molar), and M-M (molar to molar) transversal distances, and LI-LM (left incisor to left molar) and RI-RM (right incisor to right molar) anteroposterior distances were measured using an optical microscope with 0.0005 mm accuracy. Data were submitted to ANOVA and Tukey's test (5%). Comparing the evaluation periods for each individual transversal and anteroposterior reference point, no statistically significant differences were observed among deflasking and the water storage intervals for I-I, PM-PM, M-M and RI-RM distances (p>0.05). For LI-LM, however, deflasking values were statistically different from those of 1-week, 1-month and 3-month water storage intervals (p<0.05), which, in turn, did not differ statistically to each other (p>0.05). These results confirm the complexity of tooth displacement in complete dentures. From a clinical standpoint, the difference observed in LI-LM distance after water storage would not be detected by the patients during clinical use.