Blessing In Disguise

The school bell rang and I ran towards the classroom. My long hair was tamed into two ponytails on the side above my ears and when I passed a group of senior students I remember them yelling after me: “Slow down, Šizika” (crazy girl). It was a name of a popular song at the time of the band named “Flying Penguins” - and they gave me that nickname. But someone between them stupidly tripped me so I fell right on my teeth as I was running and smiling wide. The school had a polished granite floor and I remember it hurt so much that everything became black for a few moments.

I was bleeding from my mouth and feeling my teeth with my tongue that broke in half. I was only 8 or 9 years old so they called my mom.

This happened in the time of communist Yugoslavia and the best dental care was on the Faculty of Dental Medicine in Zagreb so mom took me straight there hoping to find the best solution for me there. Maybe I wasn’t lucky because the dentist who admitted me there was a senior professor specialist and he told my mother:

“We’ll take her two broken front teeth out because one broke in the root anyway and we can’t save it. It’s nothing, she probably won’t have a boyfriend until she’s 18, so what. Only then when her jaw is grown we can put some artificial teeth in there.”

Mom was outraged and she took me by the hand and we left. She then called dad’s friends’ wife a dentist in a State health service and she begged her to look at me. Mrs. Olga agreed and soon I found myself in her dental office. She had two daughters and she understood what would it mean to my child and fragile confidence so I got two fillings on the end of my teeth and this is how I passed puberty.

But my problems with teeth didn’t stop there. I continued to be a lively child, my jaw grew and I often had to change these temporary fillings because they were breaking. Up until my twenties, when I could finally get permanent ones, I changed dozens of dentists and really went through a lot. Even when I was putting in permanent new teeth. That is why I consider a dentist along with the gynecologist the two doctors you have to trust the most.

My last trauma with my front teeth happened a few months ago when I while practicing the kundalini breath in my meditation, lost consciousness and fell straight on my face and broke my first four teeth.


I already believed in blessings in disguise and that there were no accidents so I thought: what could this mean although I must admit that I cried a little tired of what was awaiting me. But after a few days my cousin introduced me to his friend Dr. Marko Vukić. We immediately clicked because of the same books we read and even though I didn’t know anything about him as a dentist, I decided to go to him because I loved his energy and accessibility as a person.

I had pretty big jitters because my specific smile was my trademark but it was soon over because of the vibe in the Digital Smile Academy, and it happened right after I entered. I thought: wow this is a place where happy people work! Everyone I met had an amiable smile on their faces and their eyes were smiling too. Soon, I sat in one of the offices surrounded by a number of experts that were working as a well-synchronized team. A very good music was playing and I was taken by the relaxed, warm and respectful relationship between the colleagues. I soon drifted into a relaxed and almost meditative state and fully surrendered. I don’t know how but nothing felt uncomfortable, (not even the anesthetic injection), and my attention was drawn to the jokes and the humorous atmosphere between the doctor and his colleagues. It was finished very soon and my new teeth in only a few more days.

-  Andja Maric

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