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To retrain as a dentist in my thirties?

(20 Posts)
AddisonBlue Sun 28-Feb-16 23:00:38

It's something I have wanted to do since I was a teenager but I didn't have the confidence to apply for dentistry back then. I'm from a science background and meet the pre-requisites for most dental schools, obviously I know that doesn't necessarily mean I'll get in though. I feel completely unfulfilled in my career and I frequently find myself wondering what could have been.
But then part of me thinks I'm being totally ridiculous, I've mad my bed and I should lie in it. That going back to uni with a small child (even though my OH is supportive) is selfish.

PortobelloRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 23:03:19

When you say "in your thirties", are you 31 or 39?

I'm not a dentist but the training is long and hard (5 + 2 years supervised I think?) and there aren't many places you can do it. Would you have to move?

PortobelloRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 23:04:26

Also I believe that dentistry is absolutely beastly competitive to get into, and although they "aren't allowed" to discriminate, they likely would when they could let an 18 year old in but again, not a dentist.

MackerelOfFact Sun 28-Feb-16 23:08:06

YANBU, if it's what you want to do. Training takes a long time but earning potential later on is huge, especially if you're prepared to run your own practice.

If you're not sure about spending 5+ years training, perhaps training as a dental hygienist or dental therapist might be an option? Similar sort of work and potentially pretty lucrative, but without the hassle of a full dental degree.

ADishBestEatenCold Sun 28-Feb-16 23:08:31

"When you say "in your thirties", are you 31 or 39?"

Do you think 39 is too old to retrain, then, PortobelloRoad?

AmyGDalae Sun 28-Feb-16 23:08:35

Do it. Not dentistry, but I'm in my thirties and at medical school. There are several people who are my age/older than me on my course. My reasoning is given that you will be working another thirty + years you better do something you think you will actually enjoy.

emsyj Sun 28-Feb-16 23:10:23

My DBro did this - he went back to college to do his A-levels when he was 27 and started dental school when he was 29 (I am 11 years younger so I was 18 and heading off to university too - we got our A-level results on the same day, poor DMum was pretty fraught in the run up to that! grin)

He did find it quite hard going being in halls with lots of young kids, but he lived in for the first year to make friends and then moved home. It was stressful doing the application process as he could only realistically afford to go if he got into the local university, but he did so it was fine.

I actually disagree that you would be disadvantaged by being old. He was probably at a significant advantage because he could demonstrate that he understood what the work would involve. He made the effort to go to the dental hospital attached to the university to meet the teaching staff and look around. He also was a dental technician before that so he had some knowledge although very much second hand - he worked in a lab, not a dental surgery.

It always struck me as a very boring job, but whatever floats your boat! I believe there is (or was, when DBro applied) an upper age limit for getting onto the course because of the funding. It could well be totally different now, it was 1996 (!) when DBro was applying.

PurpleCrazyHorse Sun 28-Feb-16 23:10:36

I'd give it a shot if you can make everything else work (finances, childcare?). Don't live the next 30 years wondering what if.

emsyj Sun 28-Feb-16 23:14:47

Just googled out of idle interest and it doesn't appear that there is an upper age limit for training now. I think mature students are often at an advantage for this type of course (same for law, which is what I did) - you will be dealing with people and for most people, confidence and skill at communciating with lots of different people increases with age. You will also have the maturity to know what you're getting into and that you believe it's the right thing for you (and the admissions tutors will know that you're not just being pushed into it by a parent etc).

PortobelloRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 23:14:53

Where exactly did I say that "ADish"? hmm

It was a question to get more of a general sense of OP's life position and what's going on with her. It's dentistry, not learning to be a nursery nurse or whatever, it's not light and breezy it's very hard and finishing your training at 38 is a bit different to finishing at 46 or similar. It's hardly an unreasonable question is it.

Alasalas Sun 28-Feb-16 23:15:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AddisonBlue Sun 28-Feb-16 23:15:20

I'm 30, I'd be 32 at the start of the course. Luckily we live in between two dental schools, however I'd apply to others too so we may have to move.

I've heard it's very competitive to get on the course, and I'm guessing my age would go against me. It doesn't make me any less desperate to try though.

grannytomine Sun 28-Feb-16 23:19:28

Isn't age discrimination unlawful?

RayofSun Sun 28-Feb-16 23:21:47

I am a dentist and love what I do. I was at dental school with people older than you would be and I agree that sometimes it works well in their favour.

I suggest you try because you will always regret not trying. Especially if, as you say, it is always something you have wanted to do!

The training is hard, the hours are full and holidays are short (ie not standard uni holidays) but it is a great career to have with a family and both versatile but predictable, if that makes sense. PM me if I can help further. Good luck!

AddisonBlue Sun 28-Feb-16 23:23:13

Wow thank you for all the positive replies! I will definitely look into the other dental related careers, although I'm very much set on dentistry.

Financially it will be tight, but not impossible. I'm planning on applying for graduate entry as well as the 5 year course, but that's even more competitive!

emsyj Sun 28-Feb-16 23:24:40

Your age won't go against you, or at least that wasn't DBro's experience at all.

ADishBestEatenCold Sun 28-Feb-16 23:48:11

"Where exactly did I say that "ADish"?"

Where exactly did you say what, PortobelloRoad?

I didn't say that you had said that you thought 39 was too old to retrain.
I asked you if you thought 39 was too old to retrain.

The reason I asked you that, was because what you did say ("When you say "in your thirties", are you 31 or 39?") made me wonder if that was what you thought. So I asked if it was!

There is a big difference between saying that someone has stated that they thought something, and asking someone if they thought something. So I don't understand the hmm face.

IPityThePontipines Sun 28-Feb-16 23:51:24

Go for it OP.

Provided you have a supportive family, being a mature student can often be a big advantage.

AddisonBlue Mon 29-Feb-16 08:44:47

I honestly expected most people to tell me I was being daft, that undertaking such an intense degree at my age and with a family would be a bad idea. So I've been really encouraged by all the supportive responses. Ray I will definitely be in touch, thank you. I'm feeling even more determined to go for it now!

theycallmemellojello Mon 29-Feb-16 08:52:33

I guess just find out what the prospects of employment are at the end of the course. I imagine they're pretty good. If that's true, then the hard bit will be getting on the course, so there's no reason not to give it a try.

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