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Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry

Faculty Profile - Dr. Sunil Kapila


Sunil D. Kapila BDS, MS, PhD

Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry

Robert W. Browne Endowed Professor


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Dr. Sunil Kapila earned his Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Nairobi (Kenya) in 1981. Afterwards, he was a dental officer at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi for two years and then became a clinical instructor and tutor in orthodontics at the University of Nairobi Dental School. He came to the U.S. in 1984 as a Fulbright-Hayes scholar to obtain a master's degree in orthodontics which he received three years later from the University of Oklahoma. In 1994, Dr. Kapila was awarded his doctorate in oral biology which he earned while teaching at UCSF. He began teaching there part-time in 1988, and become a full-time Assistant Professor in 1993. He was tenured in 1999 and was appointed as Chair of the Division of Orthodontics in 2000 and named the first Eugene E. West Endowed Chair in 2001. He was recruited to the University of Michigan in 2004 and served as the Chair of the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry and the Graduate Orthodontics Program Director from 2004-2015. His practice philosophy includes preadjusted appliances using continuous archwire or segmented mechanics and contemporary wires. He teaches in the graduate orthodontic clinic on Tuesday afternoons and teaches biomaterials and biomechanics to the residents. He also provides lectures on biomechanics and TMJ pathobiology at national and international meetings. Dr. Kapila is the recipient of several research awards including the AADR Hatton Award in 1994 and the AAO Milo Hellman Award in 1995. He was also awarded the Outstanding Alumnus Award by the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Oklahoma in 2007. Dr. Kapila and his wife, Yvonne, who is an Associate Professor in Periodontology at the University of Michigan have three young children. His hobbies include running, hiking, reading and being with the kids.