Dentist Daniela Hájková will see the whole family

Finding an English-speaking dentist who will also take children can be difficult

Finding an English-speaking dentist in Prague can be a little difficult. Finding one who also takes children and elderly patients is almost impossible. MDDr Daniela Hájková, who has a practice in Prague 2 in the Vyšehrad neighborhood, does both.

“We are open to taking care of kids, for example, and older people. I have been told dentists in Prague usually don't take kids,” MDDr Hájková said. The reason for the reluctance is that children can be more difficult to work with. “It is always hard to work with children, and the dentist has to be patient. Kids usually take longer, but it depends how old the child is. To the age of five it takes for example one hour. They want to play, they are scared of everything, they just want to escape usually,” she said.

“When they are older it is a bit easier to work with them. It depends on the parents as well, on how they have prepared the children,” she added. She also welcomes English-speaking patients and their families. “I can speak English fluently and understand people,” she said.

When a child comes for the first time, they are allowed to sit in the chair and are shown all of the tools. MDDr Hájková then explains what is going happen. “They meet my assistant, they meet me, they get to see my face and they see that it doesn't hurt actually,” she said. Older patients are also often scared of the dentist due to previous experience, but techniques have really changed. “Everybody is welcome, I guess,” she said. “I take whole family.”

Typically, a mother will come first and ask about whether her children can also get appointments. After that, the grandmother will call as well.

She doesn't recommend bringing all of the kids at once. “It isn't good that the younger children will see what I am doing to the older ones,” she said. “It should be a friendlier surrounding for them.” She also said that it gets too crowded with a whole family at on time. Typically, a mother will come with the younger children and a father will come with the older ones, she said.

She recommends that people see a dentist every six months to check for decay and other needs, and patients should have a complete panoramic X-ray done every two years. People in the Czech Republic in general do not take good care of their teeth, as many procedures are not covered by insurance and people are not used to paying for healthcare. Fillings, root canals, crowns and ceramic bridges are the most common procedures. People are split over wanting ceramic crowns or metal crowns with a ceramic coating, she added. Almost nobody wants fully metal crowns these days.

MDDr Hájková said she originally wanted to be a surgeon, but the study program for that is 11 years. She was eager to start working sooner, and dentistry took only five years. She studied at the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University, which is the only school in Prague to teach dentistry. “I just wanted to be a doctor sooner. It is nice to heal people, to help them to relieve their pain,” she said.

Her practice has been open a year and a half, but she stresses that it is not the amount of time that one is practicing but the technique. Some older dentists especially don't take the modern approach. “They don't want to go back and take new courses. Now I am going to three courses this autumn and learning still. I will be learning my whole life,” she said.

She also added that her equipment including the X-ray was new and up to date, and the office where she works has a dental hygienist. For more complex procedures such as implants, she cooperates with a surgeon.

Getting an appointment can take two weeks, but she can usually accommodate emergencies in a day or two, as there are often last-minute cancelations. In the summer, the wait for an appointment is a bit less.

She also points out that her office has a good central location, easily reachable by tram and metro, and has parking nearby.

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