An interview with Dr. Rosemeire Santos-Teachout
Written by Becky Herman, Executive Director
While I have known Dr. Rose Teachout for many years, I never knew the depth of her commitment to provide care to the underserved and how this passion was born.
She shared with me that she wanted to be a physician when she was younger. She always knew she wanted to do something in the medical field, but she also wanted a family and to be able to be there for her children. Dentistry has afforded her the flexibility to provide for her family and those less fortunate around the world.
When she was young, a cousin came to live with her family. She had down syndrome and could not find a dentist to treat her effectively. Her desire to learn more about how to treat this population brought her to the United States from her home country of Brazil. After completing a bachelor of dental surgery degree in Brazil, she studied at Ohio State University, graduating with a master’s in science degree and completing a general practice residency. She then moved to Rochester completing an AEGD residency at the Eastman Dental Center. She is internationally recognized for her work on “Oral Care for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities” and has published research on “Antibody response to gum disease pathogens in individuals with Down Syndrome.” She lectures internationally, including at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and WHO round table in Seattle, WA and has various publications in textbooks and magazines in the US and UK.
Dr. Teachout met her husband while working as faculty at Eastman Dental Center. She taught while also working in private practice for a community clinic in Hornell, before opening her own practice in Dansville in 2001. Dr. Teachout is a director at large on the Seventh District Dental Society Board and serves as the district representative to the New York State Dental Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. She and her husband have one biological son and adopted two girls from Brazil, when they were 7 and 8 years old.
Dr. Teachout is a humanitarian at heart - kind, compassionate, and dedicated to serving others. Yet, she is a humble servant – fiercely generous and gracious, without seeking recognition or acknowledgement. She has a strong belief in God, receiving both an associate and a bachelor of ministry degree from Nation-to-Nation Christian University. Her faith guides her in her everyday interaction with patients and in her mission work.
She has participated in five mission trips in the last 15 years, her most recent trip with Dental Care International (DCI), a non-profit organization that provides dental care and education to women and children around the world. She was invited to lecture in Sri Lanka where DCI runs a school to house, feed, and train young women from children’s homes to become dental surgery assistants. She spoke on “the importance of a dental surgery assistant in a general dentist’s office,” during the program’s 10-year anniversary celebration. DCI offers the one-year residential training program to girls, with little or no formal education, survivors of tragedy and poverty, and often abused and neglected. Upon completion of the program, girls obtain employment in hospitals and clinics in Sri Lanka and locations around the globe.
In addition to Sri Lanka, Dr. Teachout participated in a mission trip to Kenya where she worked with a team to treat over 200 orphaned children ages 6 months to 20 years of age. In Peru, her husband and son traveled with her. They built houses for those without.
When asked about her advice for new dentists, she replied, “Dentistry is a servant profession. There is great satisfaction in taking care of people. Use the skills you have learned and make time to help others.”