Dental Staff

Our Team

All our professionals at Otsego Family Dentistry maintain the highest levels of accreditation and pursue ongoing education to stay well informed on the latest trends in dentistry.


Dr. Michael Merda

The "Doc" was born and raised in Chicago. In 1975, Dr. Merda moved to Delton, MI where he excelled in football and wrestling. He graduated from high school in 1981 with honors and was named "Athlete of the Year". He then attended GVSU and graduated in 1986 with a double major in Chemistry and Bioscience. Dr. Merda later attended Northwestern University Dental School and graduated in 1991 as the Senior Class Vice President.

In 1992, Dr. Merda purchased the dental practice from Dr. Malvitz which was previously located on the corner of Dix and 15th Streets in Otsego. The industrial city of Otsego appealed to Dr. Merda and his blue collar roots. By 1995, the practice had outgrown the small office and relocated to the present location which was the former Phil Baker Agency and was remodeled to become an operational dental practice. As the years progressed, the property next door was purchased to provide additional parking. More recently in 2011, the building went through a major renovation so the practice could offer and implement modern technology such as digital x-rays, computerized dental records, and intra-oral cameras.

Dr. Merda strives to provide a friendly and carefree atmosphere in hopes of reducing the common dental anxiety and stress to the patients he serves.


Dr. Sandra Johnson 

Dr. Sandra Johnson grew up in Saline, MI and Graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2004.  She then went on to practice full time in Detroit for 10 years.  She returned to MI this summer after a two-year relocation on the East Coast.   She shares Dr. Merda’s philosophy of keeping  a relaxed and friendly environment with the hopes of relieving some of the anxiety associated with going to the dentist. You will seldom catch her without a smile on her face.    She enjoys spending time with her family, Pilates, running and horseback riding. 


Marcia L. - Certified Dental Assistant

Marcia has over 20 years of experience in the dental field. She started off by attending Kellogg Community College and a technology school for dental assisting in Battle Creek. To further her education she went on to achieve her C.D.A. after successful exam completion with the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).  Marcia has three young adult boys. She enjoys spending time with them as well as with her friends. She also enjoys physical fitness, boating, traveling, and many more activities which offer outdoor adventures.



Heather L. - Hygienist RDH, RDA

Heather has worked at our office since 2000 as a dental hygienist. She is an extremely talented patient educator and very passionate about helping people understand the importance of their oral health. Heather enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Outside of the office she can easily be spotted supporting her kids at their various sporting events.

Heather is a Registered Dental Assistant as well as a Registered Dental Hygienist who graduated from KVCC with an Associates in Dental Hygiene along with obtaining a Bachelor's in Allied Health Sciences from Western Michigan University . She is local anesthetic certified. Heather is a current member of the American Dental Hygiene Association.



Christa E. - Hygienist RDH

Christa has been a dental hygienist with our office on and off since 2011. Christa’s favorite thing about being a hygienist is getting to know each patient's specific needs and helping meet those individually. She also loves polishing teeth and finds it incredibly calming. Christa was a dental assistant for six years before completing her Associates in Dental Hygiene from GRCC. She enjoys being a mom to her 3 kids as well as utilizing her artistic hand at various home projects and renovations.

Michelle Z. - Front Desk/Insurance Coordinator

Michelle is typically the first face patients see when they walk through our doors. She has been making patients feel welcome, cared for, and has given first class since treatment since she began working here in 1993. She is a patient's biggest advocate and nothing brings her more joy than knowing someone felt special in our office. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.


Robin S. - Receptionist/Scheduling Coordinator

Robin has worked in the dental field for almost 35 years. She has been gracing us with her cheerful disposition and smile for several years now. Robin enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as fishing and camping. She is happily married with two adult children.




Rhiannon S. - Financial Coordinator

Rhiannon has worked for Dr. Merda on and off since 2002. She originally came to the office as full time receptionist and over the years her position has evolved along with the practice. She loves serving the families of Otsego. She functions as our in-house "IT" department, bookkeeper, and website developer. Rhiannon has a compassionate heart, loves Jesus, and spending time with her family and friends.