Costs for dental care have risen while the number of Americans with dental insurance has fallen, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. Patients are increasingly postponing dental care in an effort to save money, only to face high bills later to address complications. Meanwhile, dentists struggling to keep their practices afloat are offering more services, limiting price increases or refusing to take more Medicaid patients. "Dentistry is a labor-intensive operation," said dentist Robert Minch. "It's hard to do it on a heavily discounted basis."

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