Serious bacterial infections following dental procedures are rare, and the vast majority of people don’t need to take antibiotics or take any other precautions prior to dental procedures, Dr. Faton Bytyci told .

The resident physician at Sacred Heart Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, co-authored a report that will help other medical professionals protect their patients from potential harm.

A man in Pennsylvania developed a rare and potentially life-threatening infection after a routine dental exam and teeth cleaning, according to a new report of his case. Dr. Bytyci was among the doctors who treated the 57-year-old and assisted in his recovery from the infection.

Bytyci explained to LiveScience’s Agata Blaszczak-Boxe:

To minimize the risk of such infections during dental procedures, people with heart defects or a history of heart infection may be prescribed antibiotics before undergoing dental procedures.

One step dentists can take to reduce the risk of spreading bacterial infections to a patient’s organs is to thoroughly examine their patients’ mouths for any ongoing bacterial infections before conducting dental procedures.

Read more about how Fusobacterium necrophorum, a type of bacteria typically found inside a person’s mouth, made its way to the liver of Dr. Bytyci’s patient: