Meet The Team

The Doctor

Dr. Christopher K. LaTocha DDS

Dr. Christopher LaTocha graduated from Mackinaw City High School in 1984. He
attended Central Michigan University where he completed requirements for Pre-Dental
education. While there, his emphasis of study was Biology, Chemistry and Psychology. He
was then accepted to Ohio State University College of Dentistry, where he completed his
graduation requirements six months early.

Dr. LaTocha opened his first of three office locations in Mackinaw City in March of
1992. Mackinaw City was always home to the LaTocha family. The choice to return to the
area stemmed from his love of the lakes and the desire to enjoy Michigan’s opportunities for
hunting and fishing. Dr. LaTocha’s commitment to quality, as well as his extensive
continuing-education background, exemplify a small town office with many advantages for
patient care and state-of-the-art equipment and procedures. As you read through the
website, you will find that Dr. LaTocha is committed to integrating the latest technology into
his dental practice.

Dr. LaTocha has since moved his practice to Alanson, a better central location for
many of his patients, while remaining close to his northern patients. In addition, Dr. LaTocha
offers many procedures to the dental consumer, because he can perform many procedures
that are typically offered only by specialists. His extensive continuing education in the fields
of emergencies, state-of-the-art dental implants, orthodontics (braces), and options for tooth
replacement, represent his commitment to evolving educational advances in the field of
Dentistry.

Linda LaTocha, Registered Dental Hygienist

Linda has worked in private practice for over twenty years, which has allowed her to see a wide array of dental techniques and procedures. Her clinical experience and passion for continuing education continues to expand her knowledge base. She looks for ways for patients to not only manage their oral health, but also their overall general health. In 2009, Linda became certified in Perio Protect, an innovative and non-invasive way to treat and manage gum disease (which affects 80% of people). This therapy has become an integral treatment modality (technique) at Straits Area Dental. Linda has also integrated DNA typing and testing of periodontal pathogens to not only help us treat gum disease, but to deliver a more comprehensive approach to the link between oral and general health.

In her free time, Linda enjoys spending time with her husband Dr. LaTocha, and being in nature.

Emily McCreary, Office Manager

Emily began her dental career as Dr. LaTocha’s first employee when he opened his Mackinaw City practice in 1992. She performed both clerical and clinical duties and eventually assumed the position of Clinical Coordinator for several years. Although Emily had an extended sabbatical from the dental profession, she brought years of administrative, managerial and customer service experience when she rejoined Straits Area Dental in April 2016. Emily currently assumes the position of Office Manager. She manages patient needs including scheduling and insurance as well as handling multiple office administrative duties.

Emily graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelors in Applied Arts and Sciences. She has been a member of the Mackinaw City American Legion for over twenty years and is Past-President and Past-Treasurer of the organization. Emily is also a garden enthusiast spending countless hours tending to her vegetable and flower gardens.

Krysta Mitsuta, Dental Assistant

Krysta had a desire to pursue a career as a dental assistant for years. She joined
the Straits Area Dental team in 2018, fulfilling that dream. Krysta has assumed the responsibilities of chair-side assisting, sterilization, laboratory services and other important clinical duties. She has also been certified to expose dental radiographs. Krysta is a valuable member of our dental team, and will always do her best to go above and beyond when providing excellent patient care.

Outside of the office, Krysta continues to pursue her passion for cheerleading through coaching a team. She currently coaches a competitive cheer team ranging from ages 4-18. Her team has placed in Regional Competitions and have also attended State Competitions. Krysta has a variety of skills, including being a licensed nail technician. She leads a busy life as a parent of a teenage boy. She was recently married in June of 2020 to her loving husband Takashi, and together they bought their first home in 2021. She loves spending time outdoors with her family regardless of the season.

Taylor Neelis, Registered Dental Hygienist

Taylor is a Dental Hygienist at Straits Area Dental. She earned her degree at Delta College in Bay City, Michigan. She also holds a degree in Business Management earned locally in Petoskey, Michigan at North Central Michigan College. Her favorite part of patient treatment is teaching patients about how dental health relates to overall systemic health, and how they can better care for their teeth at home. She has enjoyed informing patients about the life changing benefits that Perio Protect therapy has to offer, and is always attempting to find more continuing education opportunities.

Taylor is a lifelong resident of Cheboygan, Michigan, where she lives with her husband Willie, many dogs and two cats. She enjoys traveling with her family, cooking new recipes, skiing or kayaking with friends, walking her dogs, and sketching in her free time.

Corey Zouvas, Registered Dental Hygienist

Corey has been working in the private practice setting for almost fifteen years. She graduated from Southwestern College in San Diego, California, where she lived and worked until returning to Northern Michigan in 2018. Corey holds dual licensure between Michigan and California where she is also laser certified.

With her devotion to patient care and ambition to learn new techniques, Corey is very driven about pursuing continuing education opportunities. She is also well versed in the Perio Protect method of non-invasive periodontal therapy, where she is a firm believer in the connection between dental and systemic health.

Outside the office, you’ll often find her kayaking the Sturgeon River with her husband, skiing down a mountain, or camping in the woods.