Am I too old to become a Dentist? Watch

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Monty HD
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#1
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Hi everyone! This is my first post, so do please do excuse me if I come across as a bit dumb!

I am 30 years old and wish to become a dentist. I don't have any A-levels, so am going to study Biology, Chemistry and 1 other (I am thinking of doing Psychology).

I would like to know if I have a realistic chance of being accepted into Dental School should I achieve the appropriate grades. I will have to do my A-Levels by home study and hope to take all necessary exams in June.

Is anyone else in a similar predicament to me? Do you think it will be possible to complete 3 A-Levels within this time frame? Also, does anyone have a link to any information which could help me out?

Thanks everyone

Anthony
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BigFudamental
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I don't know specifically about dentistry but I know (or know of) several people in their 30s and even 40s doing medical degrees so I don't see why dentistry should be any different. Make sure you fulfill whatever non-academic requirements there might be as well though (eg getting some voluntary experience somewhere).

About your exams, I think you will be very hard pressed indeed to complete 3 A-levels in 5 months, particularly as A-levels such as Chemistry and Biology which presumably you'll be taking require a component of lab/project work that you can't just do at home in the evening. If it was maths or history I'd say you could perhaps do it in 5 months if you do it fulltime and have a certain aptitude, but sciences will be tough. If I were you I'd get in touch with a local college.
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CMJBGBWC
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Hi mate.

Firstly, you have chose good A Levels, but bear in mind the time frame you have set yourself will make it incredibly difficult to achieve the AAB/AAA grades required for most Dental schools in those subjects. Indeed it will be very, very hard. You must work on them full time, and if you haven't recently done GCSEs in science or don't have experience of higher level science then I think you may, perhaps, being fairly unrealistic.

You must ensure you meet all GCSE requirements (I presume a minimum of a C in English and Maths GCSE if not taken to A Level).

You also will need to look at taking the UKCAT after your A Levels as some Dental Schools require this, in addition to gaining a lot of work experience.

What is your current job/what experience do you have of work in a healthcare or caring environment?

You are by no means too old: at 36 you could quite easily be a GDP! Exciting thought.

And if you do gain a place, make sure you can fund it and can get the grades. It must be harder to have a zest for learning when you get older, so passion is imperative.
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Monty HD
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Thanks for your replies!

Well to be honest, I don't have any experience in healthcare/medical. I have been working in the music industry since I was 20, but have become incredibly bored of it, and feel that Dentistry would be ideal for someone like me who has a passion for learning, especially bio-science.

I am going to look into the work experience soon. There are a few dental practices within walking distance from me, and I will have to use all my holiday from work!

Yeah, I thought perhaps that 3 A levels within 5 months may be a bit optimistic. I think I will just have to aim for June 2011. I will be 32 by then (as my birthday is in June), but I am still hopeful of gaining entry to a dental school. Hopefully, the fact that I woul have done my A-Levels from home wil look good on my application, though I may have to redo my GCSE's, as they were done when I was 16 (and my results were a bit rubbish).

Once again, thanks for your responses!

Anthony
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CMJBGBWC
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(Original post by Monty HD)
Thanks for your replies!

Well to be honest, I don't have any experience in healthcare/medical. I have been working in the music industry since I was 20, but have become incredibly bored of it, and feel that Dentistry would be ideal for someone like me who has a passion for learning, especially bio-science.

I am going to look into the work experience soon. There are a few dental practices within walking distance from me, and I will have to use all my holiday from work!

Yeah, I thought perhaps that 3 A levels within 5 months may be a bit optimistic. I think I will just have to aim for June 2011. I will be 32 by then (as my birthday is in June), but I am still hopeful of gaining entry to a dental school. Hopefully, the fact that I woul have done my A-Levels from home wil look good on my application, though I may have to redo my GCSE's, as they were done when I was 16 (and my results were a bit rubbish).

Once again, thanks for your responses!

Anthony
Yep, exactly right.

Even still, one year to do three full A Levels is going to be uber hard (to get AAB/AAA)!

So perhaps look at taking a sabbatical; of course this is all IMO.

But retaking GCSEs and A Levels is no mean feat buddy.

And your age is irrelevant: this is your career, and do whatever you think is right.
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Seaab
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(Original post by CMJBGBWC)

And your age is irrelevant: this is your career, and do whatever you think is right.
Couldn't agree more! I'm a *cough* mature student, a bit older than 30 :o: and also wishing to do dentistry. I have however had the odd comment on my age from very unsupportive friends but its what I would like to do, I've thought long and hard about it (as its not just me I have to think about as I have a husband and children who will also be dragged halfway across the country for me to do this as well as put up with me while I am studying etc). I look at it that I will be able to work for almost 20 years post qualifying/registration. You still have a few years yet to get your A Levels (you really do need to plan to do them over at least a year minimum) so go for it.

I just need someone to give me an interview
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James77
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Go for it. Im 28 and want to go into the dentistry field also. It's never to late. Just arm yourself with a postitive attitude. What about taking an Access to higher education course? In Bio,Chem and Psychology. These are equal to A levels, (level 3) and can be obtained in 1 year doing full time study or 2 years part time. You also do 2 Gcse equivalents in usually english and maths aswell.
Im wanting to do dental hygiene though, but am doing exactly the same subjects as you.
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cptKernow
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Alternatively, check to see if anywhere will take an Open University degree and go for the 4 year graduate entry program (GEP) on completeion
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cptKernow
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Sounds like I might not quite be the oldest dentistry applicant in the country!
With a bit of luck I'll be too busy studying to have a mid-life crisis - although I do quite fancy trading in the family estate for a sports car...
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PO3
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30??? is that it? I am 35 and proud!! at least us oldies definitely know what we want to do!
saying that... I am still waiting to hear LOL
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Seaab
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(Original post by PO3)
30??? is that it? I am 35 and proud!! at least us oldies definitely know what we want to do!
saying that... I am still waiting to hear LOL
Phew someone close to my age (37!). Where did you apply to?
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PO3
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(Original post by Seaab)
Phew someone close to my age (37!). Where did you apply to?
Kings and Barts, you?
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Seaab
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(Original post by PO3)
Kings and Barts, you?
Bristol (6yr), Cardiff (6yr), Sheffield and Birmingham. Rejected from Birmingham straightaway but I expected that as I didn't meet their criteria but I had a space left for a choice so thought what the heck :p:
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denture1
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You old sod, at 31 I'm in my 1st year at Glasgow, I'm not the oldest either with colleagues at ages 33,34 and 40. You will need to accept that you will have to go to College for a year to do the A levels and you must do well in them, I would say in the mean time start studying and get as much work experience as you can. Good luck and go for it!
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hasilegend
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No one is too old to go into the field they like. If you know you want to do dentistry as a career from now on then just go for it. Seriously my Dad's a doctor and he has a F1 whos 50 and like 5 years older than him learning from him.. So there you go, no shame in that.
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lunchbox
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(Original post by Monty HD)
Hi everyone! This is my first post, so do please do excuse me if I come across as a bit dumb!

I am 30 years old and wish to become a dentist. I don't have any A-levels, so am going to study Biology, Chemistry and 1 other (I am thinking of doing Psychology).

I would like to know if I have a realistic chance of being accepted into Dental School should I achieve the appropriate grades. I will have to do my A-Levels by home study and hope to take all necessary exams in June.

Is anyone else in a similar predicament to me? Do you think it will be possible to complete 3 A-Levels within this time frame? Also, does anyone have a link to any information which could help me out?

Thanks everyone

Anthony
Wow, who abandons a career in music for dentistry? To each their own, but it's rare you hear that happening.

Usually it's the other way around.
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gene-ius
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And I thought I was having a hard time, having to decide whether it's worth going into dentistry at 25! :p:

In my defense, I have only had 1 year out of the last 6 working (not studying) so it's more a money and dependence thing.

You will find the A levels easier than you think, though doing them part time will mean that you need a decent amount of time just to get through all the work.
If you really want to do it then go for it!
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DenDream
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It is never too late, I am 29 and will start my course at Bristol next year
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Hello Laura!
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(Original post by James77)
Go for it. Im 28 and want to go into the dentistry field also. It's never to late. Just arm yourself with a postitive attitude. What about taking an Access to higher education course? In Bio,Chem and Psychology. These are equal to A levels, (level 3) and can be obtained in 1 year doing full time study or 2 years part time. You also do 2 Gcse equivalents in usually english and maths aswell.
Im wanting to do dental hygiene though, but am doing exactly the same subjects as you.
Do universities count these as the same as A-Levels? That sounds totally up my street - one more year of exams so that they'll actually read my personal statement and realise how awesome a dentist I would be!
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tom31
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(Original post by Hello Laura!)
Do universities count these as the same as A-Levels? That sounds totally up my street - one more year of exams so that they'll actually read my personal statement and realise how awesome a dentist I would be!
I am doing an Access to Health Sciences course at the minute, and I was informed by Newcastle that they do accept Access but require Distinction grades in every module (distinction is generally 70% or above).

Interestingly, the course I am doing has only one exam (Applied Human Biology) and this does not actually count towards your final grade (not sure why this is?) although my course does not have a chemistry element in it and so I have been advised to do a summer course in it at the local university.
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